CooperVision suggests parents screen kids’ vision at home
During a CooperVision-sponsored webinar announcing the U.S. launch of MiSight contact lenses for myopia control in pediatric patients, Michele Andrews, OD, suggested three at-home tests parents can use to determine whether their child can see a 20/20-sized letter.
Andrews, the senior director of North America professional and academic affairs at CooperVision, said the tests can “give parents cues that it might be time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.”
Myopia, which Andrews said has been linked to sight threatening conditions later in life, can affect a child’s academic performance.
For each test Andrews detailed, children stand a certain distance away from common household objects to make them equivalent to a 20/20-sized image, cover one eye at a time, and read the numbers. Andrews said 20/20 vision refers to a person’s ability to see an 8.7 mm image from about 20 feet away.
The first test uses the clock on a microwave oven: Children should stand 20 feet away and read the clock while covering one eye, and then the other. The time clock on a 13-inch laptop read from 4 feet away is also equivalent to a 20/20-sized image. For the third test, parents can tape a bank check to the wall, measure 7 feet away, and ask the child to read the number in the top corner.
If it is difficult for the child to read the numbers with one or both eyes, a CooperVision infographic describing the tests asks parents to “please see an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam.”
Andrews said, “Nothing can take the place of annual comprehensive eye exams,” but parents want to know “what we can do at home to help our children and stay on top of their vision.”
CooperVision’s campaign emphasizes parents’ role in their children’s eye health, especially during a time when some are reluctant to schedule in-person visits for check-ups. The company is raising awareness in part by partnering with parent and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, who has myopia like her husband, actor Freddie Prize Jr., and their son.
Gellar said during the webinar that she “look[s] forward to educating parents about the importance of regular eye exams, and, “together, we will all see a brighter future.”