Reuters (5/28, Pittman) reported that, according to a study of more than 1,000 Australian children published in the journal Ophthalmology, about one in 16 children under the age of six may suffer from some sort of impaired vision in one eye. What’s more, nearly three percent of the children studied experienced impairment in both eyes. Researchers found that astigmatism was the common issue, but amblyopia and farsightedness were also fairly common. Notably, the United States Preventive Services Task Force suggests that children be screened between the ages of three and five for these very vision problems.
The Wall Street Journal (5/31, D2, Johannes, Subscription Publication) reports in “Aches & Claims” that some manufacturers of contact lenses are currently marketing products claiming to block out up to 99% of ultraviolet rays, important for preventing pterigia and cataracts . Unlike UV-ray blocking sunglasses, the UV-blocking lenses offer protection to all of the eye’s internal structures. To date, only a few brands of these special lenses meet FDA standards required for “Class 1” protection, which means that the lenses block at least 90% of UV-A rays and 99% of UV-B rays. The Journal points out that the American Optometric Association has awarded a “seal of acceptance” for six products, all of which belong to the Acuvue line of lenses manufactured by Vistakon, a unit of Johnson & Johnson.