If your child has Down Syndrome, you may initially have been surprised to learn that they have a very high likelihood of needing eyeglasses. In fact more than 50% of kids with Down Syndrome have some sort of eye disease. Here are some tips if you are embarking on eye care for your Down Syndrome child and some welcome news about advances in eyeglasses for this special group of kids.
Parental Concerns About Eyeglasses
Many concerns parents have about eyeglasses for their kids are common to all parents, not just parents of Down Syndrome children. They are naturally worried about the aesthetics of kids wearing glasses, and they also have questions about their functionality.
Getting babies and toddlers to wear glasses, which is a particular issue for parents of Down Syndrome kids, is a challenge.
Why It's Important to Find a Good Optometrist
Finding a good optometrist is vital if you have a child with Down Syndrome-related eye disease, as your child will have years of eye appointments and eyeglass fittings ahead. Once you have established a relationship with an optometrist who understands your concerns and fitting issues (see below), it will be easier to help your child see eye care as a routine, pleasant experience.
Your optometrist can offer you tips for getting your child to comply with their eye wear needs. This is important not just for day-to-day tasks but for academic performance as well.
A well-connected optometrist can also make referrals for an ophthalmologist, if your child has eye needs beyond glasses. Many Down Syndrome kids have tear duct abnormalities, some of which can even require surgery. They are also prone to eye misalignment, which can lead to ambylopia ("lazy eye").
Advances in Eye Wear for Kids with Down Syndrome
Fortunately, there have been many recent advances in eyeglasses for kids with Down Syndrome. You may be aware that people with Down Syndrome typically have broader faces, smaller noses, and a shorter span between the ears and eyes. Now eyeglasses are available with wider fronts, lower bridges, and shorter temple pieces to accommodate these features and to prevent eyeglasses from slipping.
Other new specifications include
- super flexibility
- softer, more comfortable frames
- sturdy, almost indestructible design
- no metal parts
- no hinges to break or pinch
- hooked earpieces or goggle-like straps to keep glasses in place
If your child has Down Syndrome, it's important to monitor their vision with regular eye exams and talk with your pediatrician about the potential need for eyeglasses. If your child does indeed need glasses, you can rest assured that you will find an optometrist who can work with your special needs child and fit them with glasses that make eye care a breeze. For more information, speak with experts like For Your Eyes Only Vision Center optometrist.