Posts Tagged ‘ vision ’

Study: Vision Problems Don’t Cause Headaches in Children

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Contrary to popular belief, children’s headaches are rarely triggered by vision problems, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the opthalmology clinic of Albany Medical Center in New York.

Of the children studied, 75% had the same vision test results both before and after they complained of headaches. The study determined that there is no significant link between headaches and a need for glasses, even if the headaches occur while doing homework or other visual tasks. Researchers found that frequent headaches typically resolved over a period of time, regardless of whether or not the child got a corrective prescription.

Dr. Zachary Roth, who lead the research team, said, “We hope our study will help reassure parents that in most cases their children’s headaches are not related to vision or eye problems, and that most headaches will clear up in time.”

Vision screenings should be a part of a pediatric wellness visit and should be done every year or two, recommends Dr. Daniel Neely, the chairman of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus’ (AAPOS) vision screening committee. AAPOS recommends children have a documented vision measurement by age 5: “The reason that there’s a time factor on these screenings is because of a condition called amblyopia,” explains Neely, which is the leading cause of vision loss. The condition, commonly referred to as lazy eye, occurs when the eye sends blurry images to the brain and can result in the brain learning to ignore images from the weaker eye. Children are less likely to respond to corrective treatment as they age, “So the younger you identify them, the more easily you can treat them. [...] By the time the kid gets to school that window of opportunity is closing,” remarks Neely.

Image: Girl with headache via Shutterstock

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Study: Outdoor Playtime May Help Kids’ Vision

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The words, “Go outside and play” have long been known to encourage healthy behaviors in kids.  But a new study suggests that outdoor play may have another benefit–it may reduce the likelihood of children being nearsighted (“nearsighted” means kids have trouble seeing objects at a distance).

The Boston Globe reports that the study, presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting in Orlando, found that every hour a child spent playing outdoors reduced his or her chances of nearsightedness by 18 percent.  Further, nearsighted kids were found to spend an average of 4 fewer hours outdoors than kids with normal vision.

The Globe reports:

Does this prove that playing outside leads to better vision? Not by a long shot.

After all, it could be that kids who have trouble seeing faraway objects prefer to be in smaller confines indoors. Or perhaps kids spend more time staring at computer screens and reading books when they’re not playing outside, which means they’re not using eye muscles required to focus on distance. Two of the studies reviewed found that wasn’t the case, but others didn’t examine the correlation.

One Chinese study — published after the analysis was conducted — found that boosting outdoor time in 40 nearsighted elementary-school-age children from a few hours per week to 14 hours per week resulted in a greater decline in those needing glasses at the end of two years compared with 40 of their counterparts who didn’t increase their outdoor time.

“Increasing children’s outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health” said review stud co-author Anthony Khawaja in a statement. “If we want to make clear recommendations, however, we’ll need more precise data.”

(image via: http://old.tehrantimes.com/)

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