ROCHESTER, NY – With the kids back to school, some eye doctors say they’re seeing more families coming in for appointments.
Fatima Al Ridha is a fifth grader who has recently started wearing contact lenses. She struggled with her vision for most of her life.
“When I wore glasses before gym class I couldn’t do a lot of activities because my glasses would bump and I had to take them off and I couldn’t really see well when I looked around,” said Al Ridha.
Her mother, Dhuha Mohammed, says it didn’t improve much when Fatima started wearing glasses.
“We came here to make a doctor’s appointment,” she said. “So she started wearing glasses at age 9 and her prescription was increasing rapidly. We had to buy new glasses every six months.”
Dr Vadim Guy, optometrist for Rochester Family Vision Center, says they’ve seen more myopic children. He explains that this is likely because children had to watch screens for longer periods of time for distance learning during the pandemic.
Guy adds that this can be a problem as 80% of learning comes from seeing.
“It’s very interesting to see how children’s confidence improves once they have glasses, once they have contact lenses, once they realize that, ‘hey, I can wear glasses for free all day and wear contact lenses that will not only help me correct my vision but also stabilize my prescription so it doesn’t get worse, ”Guy said.
This is why Dhuha wanted Fatima to go through contacts.
“We took stock for her,” Dhuha said. “She is fine. Her vision is now stabilized. So I think this is something all parents should try for their children.”
For Fatima, it made all the difference.
“When I was nervous in class, I played with my glasses and [contacts] helped me focus a lot more now in school instead of [glasses] fall every day, ”Fatima said. “And with contacts, they don’t do that.”