When I found out my son needed glasses in kindergarten, I had a thousand questions. Even though I wear contacts and glasses, I didn’t get them until I was in 5th grade. Having a child that needed them at a much younger age brought worries about the durability of frames, if he was capable of taking care of them, how do I know if his prescription is changing, etc. If you have found yourself in a similar position, Dr. Jordan Dau with Dau Family Eye Care is here to answer some of those questions and talk about why his practice is different than most.
Part of a husband/wife team, Dr. Dau strives to care for the whole family. His passion for eye care runs deep and even brought him to travel with mission trips, providing eye exams to patients who otherwise might never have the opportunity to receive care.
Dr. Dau has had experience with patients as young as 1 month old, and his staff has many ways of completing exams on children who are not yet able to read. They also have many engaging videos that allow a full examination of the eye while the child stays happy and entertained.
I caught up with Dr. Dau at their gorgeous new office in Bartram Springs to ask him a few questions:
How does a parent really know if their young child even needs an eye exam in the first place?
I recommend every child have a full vision exam before entering kindergarten. Though students will get screened in school, it’s important to not just go off of a basic school screening. While they are helpful, they do not give a full picture of a child’s eye health.
Other signs that your child might need an eye exam: frequent headaches, squinting, wanting to get closer to the TV, and giving up on reading after 10-15 minutes. Kids who might otherwise be labeled with behavioral problems might really just need glasses. It’s important to look at the full picture of a child’s health, and their eye health is an important component.
My child has glasses/contacts. How often do I really need to get them a checkup?
Yearly. It is expected, and likely, that a child’s prescription will change year to year. The biggest changes typically occur during the teenage years, many times becoming more near-sighted.
There seem to be a lot of options with glasses. Are there any options you feel are an absolute must when getting your first pair?
Today glasses are for more than just seeing letters clearly. Children learn through sight, but we also need to protect and reduce strain put on their eyes. Polycarbonate is a lens material that is shatter resistant and has some built-in UV protection, and is something I consider to be mandatory in children. A lot of times it is even covered by insurance for children under the age of 18. Also, with all the new technology being used both at home and in school, such as iPads, smartphones, computers, and television, it can make vision significantly more comfortable to have a non-glare coating to reduce reflections and make it easier to see, not just sharper. Lastly children who are using these devices excessively are getting a lot of exposure to blue light, which can cause strain, fatigue, and even disturb sleeping patterns. In these cases it may even be important to add a Smart Blue Filter that reduces exposure to disruptive blue light.
My child has glasses, but when could he realistically transition to contacts?
It all depends on the child, but I always ask two questions to help decide if they are ready:
1) Are they taking good care of their current glasses?
2) How clean is their room?
A child who is careful with their glasses, takes great care of them and has a clean room is showing the traits of maturity that are necessary to also take care of contacts. If the answer to either of these questions is “no,” then they’re likely not yet ready. I’ve also found that hearing the answers to these questions can be a great motivator to a child who really wants contacts! When the transition to contacts does happen, daily disposable contact lenses are safer, healthier, more comfortable, and much easier to take care of than the contacts we had growing up. With this new technology we have today, children as young as 5, 6, and 7 years old do better in contacts than many adults.
So, you might be wondering, what sets Dau Family Eye Care apart from others? A lot, actually.
A Caring Environment
I was very impressed with their staff as a whole. They truly want to care for the whole family, and I love that every member of the family is welcome.
The Latest Technology in Eye Care
Dr. Dau and his team have a passion for education, and they want to ensure that each patient knows what to expect and why. Their office has the capability to film the eye in the exam room, and the patient can watch along! This is particularly great for children who can be actively involved in their own care and education, alongside their parent. The video created can then be stored in the patient’s file to be referenced whenever it’s needed. I was also impressed that their office has the capability of making their own lenses in house, and they keep a stock of lenses ready in case of an emergency.
My favorite feature though, was that they don’t do the dreaded puff test! If you’ve ever had an eye exam, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the pressure test that requires you to place your chin in an uncomfortable contraption, and then a quick burst of air shoots in your eye. While the information that test provides is necessary, few things give me more anxiety, and I know many of you can relate. However, Dr. Dau is able to get this same important information with a device that does not blow any air. I tested it out, and I was sold. You guys, this is a serious game changer for me.
Did you know there is a contact lens that can actually help prevent Myopia in high risk children? Myopia, or nearsightedness, is where objects far away appear blurry and out of focus. Nearly 42% of Americans are nearsighted, and between the ages of 6 and 18, children become more nearsighted as they grow. Myopia may increase your chance of retinal detachments, glaucoma, and dense cataracts. With Myopia prevention, Dr. Dau and his team help children with a high risk of their vision worsening by slowing or preventing those changes from happening in the first place. This can be performed with a combination of specialty contact lenses and prescription drops. Their office is one of the only places in Jacksonville that carries these specialized contact lenses. As Dr. Dau was explaining all of this to me, my interest was immediately piqued because my own son falls in this category.
Great Product Selection & Service Options
I enjoyed browsing their huge selection of glasses for the whole family. The kids’ selection was impressive and had a wide range from Ray-Ban sunglasses (so cute!) to the latest trends with Jonas Paul to especially flexible and durable Dilli Dalli frames that are even great for infants. They offer a wide range of services and screenings for peripheral vision, contours of the eye, and astigmatism. Dau Family Eye Care is truly a “one stop shop” for your entire family’s eye care needs, and they offer a wide range of hours to suit your busy schedule. I can’t say enough about Dr. Dau’s kindness and approach!