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Eye Care for Special Needs Patients: Down Syndrome

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You’ve probably noticed that the eyes of a person with Down Syndrome look differently. Eyelids slant upwards and there are usually pronounced skin folds between the nose and eyes. But you may not have realized that the differences are found not only on the surface, but particular eye conditions are also more common in Down Syndrome patients.

Eye diseases and Down Syndrome

Certain ocular diseases are diagnosed more frequently in kids with Down Syndrome:

  • The drainage system for tears may not function properly, causing watery eyes.
  • Ptosis, which involves droopy eyelids.
  • Cataracts (congenital) are more common and must be surgically removed at a young age to prevent lasting vision loss.
  • Approximately 30% of all kids with Down syndrome develop keratoconus, a disorder that makes the cornea bulge.
  • Nystagmus causes eyes to move rhythmically back and forth.

While there is no way to prevent these eye diseases, early diagnosis enables early treatment – which is essential for preventing or limiting any long-term damage to vision. That’s why Dr. Andrew Mattson, our Lakeville, Minnesota , eye doctor strongly encourages regular eye exams for everyone with Down syndrome!

Eyeglasses and Down Syndrome

Typically, young kids – even toddlers – with Down syndrome need glasses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, and prescription eyeglasses can provide clear vision. Also, they are more likely to have trouble focusing from far to near (accommodation), for which bifocal glasses can be a helpful solution.

Another common cause of vision problems is a misalignment of the eyes (strabismus). When detected early, wearing the correct prescription glasses can often be enough to resolve the problem. In contrast, without prompt treatment strabismus can damage depth perception and lead to reduced vision in one eye. (If glasses aren’t effective, surgery to realign the eyes may also be done.)

Specs4Us unique eyeglasses

You wouldn’t wear glasses that don’t fit your face comfortably, so why should kids with Down syndrome suffer from uncomfortable eyewear? Specs4Us offers a perfect solution for children, starting with a fun range of unique glasses for toddlers with Down syndrome and continuing with frames for older kids too.

The precise, creative design of Specs4Us frames gives kids cushy comfort and crisp vision for exploring the world. These unique eyeglasses aren’t too big or bulky, so they won’t slip off kids’ noses like standard eyeglasses do. The bridge and temples are adjusted to sit snugly on the individual facial features of a child or toddler with Down syndrome, neatly accommodating a low, flat, or hard-to-fit profile. Lakeville Family Eye Care is your exclusive provider of Specs4Us unique frames in the Lakeville, Minnesota , region.

Eye exams for kids with Down Syndrome

Eye exams for a child with Down syndrome can be tricky for both the eye doctor and the patient, which is why it’s best to visit an experienced eye care clinic. At Lakeville Family Eye Care in Lakeville, Minnesota , Dr. Andrew Mattson specializes in providing compassionate, expert eye care for special needs patients.


At Lakeville Family Eye Care, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 952-236-4099 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lakeville eye doctors.

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