ROCHESTER, N.Y. — With kids back in school, some eye doctors say they're seeing more families coming in for appointments.
Fatima Al Ridha is a fifth grader who recently began wearing contacts. She has struggled with her vision for most of her life.
"When I wore glasses before gym class, I couldn't play a lot of activities because my glasses would bump off and I would have to take them off and I couldn't really see well when I looked around," Al Ridha said.
Her mother, Dhuha Mohammed, says it didn't get much better when Fatima started wearing glasses.
"We came here to schedule a doctor's appointment,” she said. “So she started wearing glasses at age 9 and her prescription was increasing rapidly. We needed to do get new glasses every six months."
Dr. Vadim Guy, an optometrist for the Family Vision Center in Rochester, says they have seen more kids with near-sightedness. He explains that it's likely because kids have had to look at screens for longer stretches for remote learning during the pandemic.
Guy adds that can be a problem because 80% of learning comes from vision.
"It's very interesting to see how kids' confidence improve once they get glasses, once they get contacts, once they realize that, ‘hey, I can go glasses free throughout the day and wear contact lenses that will not just help me correct my vision, but also stabilize my prescription so it's not getting worse,"’ Guy said.
It's why Dhuha wanted Fatima to switch to contacts.
"We did a checkup for her,” Dhuha said. “She's fine. Her vision is now stabilized. So I think this is something every parent should try for their kids."
For Fatima, it's made all the difference.
"When I was nervous in the classroom, I would be playing with my glasses and [contacts] helped me focus a lot more now in school instead of [glasses] falling down every day,” Fatima said. “And with contacts they don't do that."