Article Date: 9/1/2008

Wise to the World

Wise to the World

By Judith Riddle Senior Editor

Heading Back to School With Clear Vision

Now's a good time to remind parents to schedule annual eye exams for their children as they prepare to head back to school. Without an exam, many children will suffer from undetected vision problems and may risk being misdiagnosed with a learning disorder.

The American Optometric Association's (AOA) 2008 American Eye-Q survey, which assesses public knowledge and understanding of a wide range of vision-related issues, found that 87% of respondents were unaware that 1 in 4 children have a vision problem.

Parents who rely on annual vision screenings performed in many public schools are unaware that such exams identify only a small portion of vision problems in children. So it's important to inform parents that optometrists are most qualified to test visual acuity, accommodation, visual alignment and ocular motility, eye-hand-body coordination, color vision in preschoolers and other problems that may impair vision. Parents who want more information about their children's vision can visit


Are Kids Ready for Contact Lenses?

For kids with refractive error, contact lenses will enable them to more fully enjoy activities, such as soccer, basketball, football and band. I always suggest contact lenses for my active patients. If the child and parents show interest, I discuss three points that must happen before I fit a child for contact lenses: The child's ocular anatomy and physiology must be suitable for contact lens wear; the parent must agree with the treatment plan and continued follow-up; and the child must want contact lenses and practice good personal hygiene habits.

I give parents and children time alone to discuss contact lens wear after I offer my recommendations. When I return to the room, everyone must be on the same page. If a child's hygiene is in question and she wants to wear contact lenses, I give her 2 months to demonstrate improvement and prove to her parents she can take good care of herself on her own. If the child's hygiene improves, the parent can schedule a contact lens fitting.

Jon Forche, O.D.
Athens, Ga.
For more great fitting tips, visit

Fish for Thought?

When you see patients who are at risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), suggest they eat oily fish once a week to reduce the odds of developing the disease.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who consume oily fish at least once a week, compared with less than once a week, are 50% less likely to have wet AMD. Consumption of non-oily white fish had no benefit.

So tell patients to eat lots of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackeral, lake trout, herring, sardines and albacore tuna. Patients will be happy to know they can eat their way to healthier eyes.

Click Here for Valuable Info

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. recently launched a new Web site ( designed for doctors and staff. The site provides valuable resources and tools to improve patient care and build your practice.

Some of the site's features include an educational video library on the latest contact lens news and research; access to clinical data and third-party studies; and online practice resources to facilitate appointment scheduling.

Doctors also may access a customer service Web site, where they can place online orders for Acuvue contact lenses.

Optometric Management, Issue: September 2008