Your Child's Vision is Precious

Watching your child's development is one of the joys of parenthood.   Children just assume that the way they see things, is just the same as everybody else. If the pages in a book or the board at school seem a bit of a blur, or reading is really tiring, they think it's that way for everyone.


Poor vision or poor visual skills can affect a child's development in many ways. It can make learning more difficult, it can make the child clumsy and un-coordinated and it can even affect the child's personality development. Our optometrists as parents understand just how important your child is.

There are many visual skills needed for complete vision development, starting from birth to age 7.  Then as they grow through into puberty there are further vision changes which can affect both school work and myopia development and progression can affect their adult eye health risks.

Your child's vision is precious and we want to help them be the best they can be. So a child's visit to CapitalEyes is different to elsewhere. We are looking to see if the visual skills are being learned, if they have clear and sharp vision but also accurate focusing and a high degree of co-ordinated activity of both eyes.  Once clear vision is developed, then the child's more advanced visual skills are assessed by our optometrists.  These checks include the ability to change focus, fix and converge the eyes (aiming the eyes), eye tracking and saccadic ability (eye movements) and also depth perception (important for sport).

Assessing a child's vision is much more than just reading a letter chart, and if your child does require glasses, regular review appointments to followup are very important to ensure that their vision development is optimised. Eyecare and vision is more than just buying a pair of glasses.

When your child's vision is so important, why would you have a free quick check when the underlying reality that it's free because selling glasses collects the payment? Yes, we do charge consultation fees at CapitalEyes, but we don't recommend glasses lightly for children.

Leith O'Connor
Evolution of the Desk

Our desks have changed so much, and thus our vision demands have changed.

This video shows so it all, that you might need to watch it more than once.

Kevin OConnor
Myopia Epidemic
Worldwide myopia progression predictions.jpg

Myopia (short sightedness) is predicted to affect every second person in Australasia by 2050.  Researchers in Sydney working with the World Health Organisation have predicted this to be a global problem.  In our part of the world currently 20% of people are myopic, but the predicted rise to 55% by 2050 is very concerning.  Worldwide the rate is predicted to be over 50%, and Africa with a very low level of myopia is set to increase 6 times from 2000 to 2050.

While we can correct myopia with glasses, contract lenses, or for adults with laser surgery, the bigger concerns are the underlying eye health changes that occur particularly with higher myopia - classified as those people with -5.00D of myopia or higher.

The eye health risks for our future children and grandchildren are very real causes of blindness, so as optometrists, we are working hard to slow down the progression of myopia in children and teenagers. These approaches are usually tailored to the young person following their regular eye examination.  However the community messages revolve around the known risks of children not spending enough time outdoors, and too much near time.

There is also a genetic link, so if you are a myopic parent, your children have double the risk of developing myopia, and if both parents are myopic the risk increases to five time.  We can't change our genes, but we can alter the environment for young peoples vision devleopment.

The "myogenic" environments we live in, can be modified - parents and schools just need to know how important time outdoors is, and balancing time spent on near work.

Kevin OConnor
Got that coffee fix?

Caffeine is the most widely used drug in history, with more than 70% of New Zealanders consuming it daily in their coffee, tea, chocolate and caffeinated soft drinks - maybe more in Wellington where our coffee is so good! 

Interestingly there's emerging evidence that caffeine increases the eye's intra-ocular pressure (for a short period 1-2 hours after consumption).  Higher IOPs are associated with glaucoma, and the caffeine increase in IOP is worse in people with glaucoma, or who have a family history of glaucoma and seems to double their chance of developing glaucoma.  As they say "everything in moderation", more so for glaucoma risk people and their caffeine.

Attention parents, especially shortsighted parents

There is now new and developing research with options for slowing myopic progression. For a long time it has been known that there is a genetic component to myopia. Having one parent who is myopic doubles the risk of developing myopia, and having two parents increases the risk by 8 times.

If your child is myopic, the likelihood is that it will progress as they grow. For some children this is a slow rate of progression, while others have rapid vision changes.

The treatments which the research has shown to slow myopia progression include assessment of near binocular alignment which may benefit from glasses for close work. Also use of weak atropine eye drops used nightly, or contact lenses specially developed with advanced optics in soft daily disposables.

We recommend all children with myopic parents be examined before the age of 6, to establish risks for further vision changes. These are individual approaches and we are happy to discuss these further with you. 

Click HERE to read more about it.

Kevin OConnor
New Faces

Welcome to Melanie, an experienced frame and lens specialist, who is joining our team, based in the City branch. She was an Aucklander, but we're claiming her down this end of the country now! And Leeann who is new to optics, and looking forward to starting her training as an optical dispenser. Vicki from the City branch is moving to Visique in Palmerston North - Wellington is too far away from her new husband!

Kevin OConnor