Childrens’ Vision: World Down’s Syndrome Day and Erin’s World Frames

Monday 21 March 2016 marked the 11th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day.  Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.  Here at Peter Ivins Eye Care we would like to highlight the importance of regular eye examinations for individuals with Down syndrome particular young children due to increased risk of eye and vision disorders.

We are proud to be able to offer and fit a unique range of frames for individuals with Down syndrome, our expert Dispensing Opticians will be able to provide customised frames to fit their unique needs and therefore improve the sight and quality of life of the individual.  We have a range of specially designed spectacle frames from Erin’s World and Tomato Eyewear in stock which are manufactured specifically for children with Down’s syndrome and other people with low bridges.

With a pair of Erin’s World or Tomato Eye Wear frames your child will no longer be uncomfortable in their spectacles.  They will be able to explore the world freely and clearly without wearing glasses that are too big or are constantly slipping down their nose.   These frames are made with your child’s unique needs in mind and solve the problems that regular eyeglasses never could.

If you have any questions about these ranges or eye care for Down’s syndrome please feel to call the practice on 0141 943 3300 or email



What causes Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is caused by a duplication of all or part of chromosome 21, making three copies of the chromosome rather than the usual two copies. The extra genetic material leads to certain physical changes in persons with Down syndrome.

How common is Down syndrome?

The frequency of Down syndrome is approximately 1 in every 800 births. The improved quality of medical care and educational resources have allowed for a more productive life and a longer life expectancy.

Do children with Down syndrome have eye problems?

Individuals with Down syndrome are at increased risk for a variety of eye and vision disorders. Fortunately, many of these eye problems can be treated, especially if discovered at an early age. The quality of life can be further enhanced by the proper assessment and correction of eye problems. The most common eye findings include:

  • Refractive errors – Children with Down syndrome are more likely to need glasses than are other children. This may be due to myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or astigmatism. Refractive error may develop early in life or later on.


  • Strabismus – Between 20% and 60% of individuals with Down syndrome have eyes that are misaligned (strabismus). Esotropia (eyes that drift in) is most common while exotropia (eyes that drift out) occurs less frequently. Strabismus may be treated with glasses, patching and/or eye muscle surgery.


  • Blepharitis – Inflammation of the eyelids with redness at the edge of the lids and crusting around the lashes may occur and cause a feeling of dryness or burning. Treatment is with eyelid hygiene and topical antibiotics.


  • Tearing – Excessive tears or watering of the eyes may occur because the drainage channels are blocked or narrow (nasolacrimal duct obstruction). This may require surgical intervention.


  • Nystagmus – This is an involuntary ‘back-and-forth’ movement or shaking of the eyes. It can affect vision to a mild or severe degree.


  • Keratoconus – A cone shaped distortion of the cornea (front layer of the eye), occurs in up to 30% of those with Down syndrome. Keratoconus is usually diagnosed around puberty and should be monitored regularly. Blurred vision, corneal thinning, or corneal haze may result from keratoconus.


  • Cataracts – There is an increased incidence of congenital cataracts (present at birth) as well as acquired cataracts (develop later). The cataracts may progress slowly and should be monitored regularly, with treatment when appropriate.


  • Glaucoma – There is an increased risk of infantile glaucoma (elevated pressure within the eye).

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