The Eyes Have It: Facts About Your Family’s Eye Health


Boy with his dog wearing Transitions glassesWe’ve learned recently that eighty per cent of what a child learns is through vision. It’s obvious if you think of reading and writing but it’s even more basic than that. Imagine learning about something you can’t see?
That’s why healthy eye sight is a critical part of a child’s success inside and outside of the classroom.i

Need more facts? Here are some Questions and Answers to help you get started.

Questions and Answers About Eye Care

    1. Is eye health important for a child’s success in the classroom?
      Eighty per cent of what a child learns is through vision.ii An average of one in four children have an undetected vision problem that can interfere with their ability to read and learn, making routine eye examinations and proper eyewear critical to performance inside the classroom and in your child’s everyday life.iii


  • What are some of the signs that a child might be struggling with vision problems?
    If your child is struggling with their eye sight they may hold reading materials too close, squint, rub their eyes, or complain of headaches. Additional signs of a child experiencing vision problems are a lack of attention in class and fatigue. It is important to investigate if you observe any of these signs as they can often be misinterpreted as behavioural issues or learning disabilities.iv



  • What should a routine eye exam include?
    Routine eye exams should be scheduled as regularly as doctor and dentist appointments. These regular check-ups will help parents ensure potential issues are identified early and that appropriate action is taken.

    A thorough eye examination should include:


  • A review of you or your child’s health and vision history
  • An external and internal examination of the eye to determine overall eye health
  • Testing of the fluid pressure of the eye which is important in detecting glaucoma
  • Tests for near-sightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, colour perception, eye coordination, depth perception and focusing ability

  • Why is protecting your child’s eyes from UV exposure important?
    Childhood is a crucial time for eye development as this is when good and bad eye care habits are formed. With the average child receiving three times the annual UV exposure of an adult, proper eyewear is critical in protecting your child’s sight.v Being diligent about children’s eye care is particularly important because children’s eyes are naturally more sensitive to environmental factors that can be damaging to their eyes.


Expecting a young child to remember to change their glasses when going outside, to protect themselves against UV, may not be realistic. Instead, parents might want to consider adaptive eyewear, like Transitions® everyday lenses, that automatically adapt to changing light, protect against glare and block 100 per cent of the UVA-UVB rays, to help ensure their child’s eyes are kept safe—no matter how active or distracted they might be.

  • How often should children and adults undergo an eye examination?
    Every Canadian should undergo regular eye examinations to ensure there are no issues with vision loss and eye disease. After your initial examination, your optometrist will schedule regular checkups for you at a frequency that meets your particular eye care needs.
  • The minimum recommended frequency of eye exams for those at low risk are as follows:
    • Infants and toddlers (birth to 24 months) should have their first eye exam by the age of six months
    • Pre-school aged children (two to five years), should have an eye exam at the age of three and again just before entering elementary school
    • School-age children (six to 19 years) should undergo annual eye examinations
    • Adults between the ages of 20 and 64 should have their eyes examined every one to two years
    • Adults over the age of 65 should undergo annual examsvi


  • Why is adaptive eyewear gaining popularity again?
    Adaptive eyewear has been available for over 40 years, and provides safe and effective UV light protection. In today’s busy world, eyeglass wearers are looking for convenient value-added products. Transitions adaptive eyewear offers superior photochromic performance in the widest availability of materials and lens types. Transitions® everyday lenses block 100 per cent of the sun’s eye-damaging rays and reduce painful, discomforting glare.


This allows eyecare professionals to confidently select the right material and design for each patient.


  • Are sunglasses just a fashion item for kids?
    No, the average child receives three times the annual UV exposure as an adult.vii It is never too early to begin caring for your child’s eye health. Transitions® everyday lenses are the most convenient way to provide automatic, everyday protection for children who wear prescription eyeglasses. Transitions everyday lenses block 100 per cent of UV radiation and reduce discomforting glare, which also serves to minimize eye strain and fatigue.
  • Why should eyeglass wearers spend the money on Transitions® lenses when they can buy over the counter readers and sunglasses?
    Once people start needing reading glasses, a visit to an eye care professional is recommended. Eye diseases are often silent and can go undetected, so regular eye exams are suggested to determine changes in vision or any other problems that may be occurring. Transitions® everyday lenses automatically adapt to changing light conditions to reduce glare, eye fatigue and eye strain. They also help preserve eye health as they block 100 per cent of harmful UV and UVB rays.



iEye Didn’t Know That. Did you know? Accessed July 2011.
iiEye Didn’t Know That. Did you know? Accessed July 2011.
iii Jones, D.,, Elementary School Teachers’ Perspectives of Factors Associated with Reading Disability.
ivEye Didn’t Know That. For Parents. Accessed July 2011.
v Truham AP. Sun Protection in childhood. Clin Pediatr. 1991;30,676-681
viThe Canadian Association of Optometrists. Exam Frequency. Accessed February 2011.
vii Public Health Agency of Canada. Chronic Diseases in Canada: Ultraviolet Radiation. Accessed February 2011.


Leave a Comment