At What Age Should My Child See An Eye Doctor?

first eye examA common question that parents ask is: What age should my child first see an eye doctor?

Hampton Roads Eye Associates has an answer that is fairly straightforward.

Initial Exam:

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that a child have a  first comprehensive eye exam at their 6 month checkup. This exam will generally be performed by the pediatrician at their checkup. The main objective will be to see if the child is following objects and observing the environment in a normal manner for their age and development.

Next Exams:

Additional eye exams are recommended at age 3 and then again before entering Kindergarten or 1st grade, which is generally between ages 5 and 6.

This is because eyesight is essential for students to be able to learn appropriately as they enter their primary school years.

There are a variety of conditions that could keep children from learning properly during their years in primary school, including:

  • near vision problems
  • distance vision problems
  • a lack of binocular (two eye) coordination
  • a lack of eye movement and following skills
  • a lack of eye focusing skills
  • a lack of peripheral awareness
  • a lack of hand-eye coordination

Schools have required an eye exam for all students entering school for the first time to screen out any vision problems that may exist and inhibit their learning.

What Are the Findings of These Initial Exams?

These eye exams at ages 3 and then again at 5-6 are finding that about 10-15% of school-aged children have some sort of vision issue.

Most of these issues are easily fixed by prescribing corrective eyewear that is determined by your child’s individual needs.  Rarely, a child needs corrective surgery for a vision issue, which would be performed after diagnosis and other, less invasive treatment is attempted.

Tell Your Eye Doctor the Following:

While most eye exams are pretty self-explanatory, be sure to tell your doctor about anything specific that may affect your child’s vision exam.

The following are some key factors your eye doctor may need to know to help provide your child with the best quality eye exam possible:

  • a history of a premature birth
  • any sort of delayed motor development
  • frequent eye rubbing
  • excessive blinking
  • failure to maintain appropriate eye contact
  • inability to maintain a gaze (fixation) while studying or looking at a specific object
  • any poor eye tracking skills you observed

These can all be signs of other problems that your child may be developing with their vision. Our doctors use this information along with the results of their eye exams to determine if issues exist with your child’s vision.

Also, Remember:

Regular eye exams ensure that any issues your child is having with their vision are corrected immediately before these issues impact their ability to function and learn appropriately. Routine eye exams are meant to detect problems and treat them so your child has the best chance to excel in the future.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child, contact Hampton Roads Eye Associates – Oyster Point at  (757) 643-8800.  Our pediatric specialists are specially trained to detect and treat vision issues in children.


Cataracts: The Basic Information

cataracts treatmentClouded vision can be a metaphor for questionable wisdom, or it can be a reality for people with cataracts. Cataracts are like a cloud over the eye’s lens, beginning small but often growing until they negatively affect vision.

Symptoms of cataracts

  • clouded, dimmed, or blurred vision
  • light sensitivity
  • a need for brighter light to read by
  • seeing rings around lights
  • frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • double vision when only one eye is open
  • colors appear faded or yellowed

What causes cataracts?

The lens of the eye does the camera-like work of focusing on objects and sending bright, clear pictures to your brain. As you age, proteins on the surface of the lens can clump up. These clumps of protein are the cataracts. They often begin small and unnoticeable, but when they grow to cover more of the lens, the cataracts obscure vision and cause some or all of the above symptoms. Most cataracts develop in the eyes of older people, but they can also be caused by genetics or certain medical conditions. Some habits and/or conditions (such as smoking, alcoholism, obesity, and excessive exposure to sunlight) put people at a higher risk for the growth of cataracts.


In the beginning stages of cataracts, the mild symptoms can be relieved with non-invasive treatments such as

  • new eyeglasses
  • brighter lighting
  • anti-glare glasses

However, when the cataracts begin to interfere with your daily activities, such as driving, reading, and using the computer, you and your doctor need to have a talk about cataract surgery. Patients should take their time and learn as much as they can beforehand because delaying the surgery will not make the surgery less effective or harder to perform. Cataract surgery is a very common surgery with a high success rate. The operation to remove a cataract typically lasts less than an hour, and it is nearly painless. Most patients return home the same day.

If you are experiencing vision problems, and you’re not sure if a cataract is causing it or not, schedule an appointment with Hampton Roads Eye Associates.   Hampton Roads Eye Associates in Oyster Point treats patients with beginning and advanced cataracts in their office, providing every treatment option from lenses to laser assisted surgery.  Contact us today at (757) 643-8800.


Hampton Roads Eye Associates Named Best Eye Doctor in 2017!

daily pressHampton Roads Eye Associates was named 2017 “Best Eye Doctor/Optometrist and Ophthalmologist/Lasik” in Newport News by the Daily Press Choice Awards! Providing exceptional vision care is the mission of Hampton Roads Eye Associates. The doctors and staff are proud to be recognized by the community as an outstanding provider of vision care services, and will continue to meet their expectations in the future.

Winners of the Daily Press Choice Awards are chosen by the readers of the Daily Press through a nomination and ballot-voting system. The ballots reached to six geographic areas including Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown and Poquoson, Williamsburg, Gloucester and Mathews, and South of the James. This annual competition is sponsored by the Daily Press and is designed to allow the community to nominate and vote for who they believe is the most deserving of the designation of “Best of…” in multiple categories that include: wellness, food, home, recreation, services, and shopping.

Nominations were taken between June 5 and July 14, and voting took place between July 30th and August 26th 2017.

The Daily Press readers’ Choice Awards Gala was held at the Mariners Museum on September 18, 2017, to honor all the nominees and announce the winners. The category winners were announced on December 10th in a special publication by the Daily Press.

If you would like to congratulate our outstanding team of providers on this award, or if it’s time for your annual vision care wellness exam, please stop by to make an appointment or contact Hampton Roads Eye Associates at (757) 643-8800.

HREA Oyster Point Features Dr. Steven Kitay!

VA eye doctorHampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point is pleased to feature Dr. Steven Kitay on our blog this month. Dr. Steven E. Kitay, M.D., joined Hampton Roads Eye Associates in 2001 as a comprehensive Ophthalmologist. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Kitay has many specialties including:

  • micro-incision sutureless cataract surgery using topical anesthesia
  • medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma
  • diabetic eye exams
  • dry eye management
  • general ophthalmic medical and surgical services


Dr. Steven Kitay, M.D.

Dr Kitay’s favorite part about being an Ophthalmologist is the day-to-day challenges, some easy and some difficult in helping people see better! Dr. Kitay is a cataract specialist, and has performed over 9,000 cases. He is now offering laser assisted cataract surgery and is a certified iStent surgeon. Dr. Kitay uses new technology lenses such as the Toric lens for astigmatism, the TECNIS® Multifocal Lens lens and the Crystalens.



Dr. Kitay graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kitay received his internship training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he also completed his Ophthalmology Residency and served as Chief Resident during his final year.



Dr. Kitay is a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is a member of the Virginia Medical Society and the Newport News Medical Society. Dr. Kitay is also a Practice Liason/Physician Practice Director for Hampton Roads Eye Associates, and serves as chair for the Physician’s Advisory Panel of the Riverside Hampton Surgery Center. In 2012, Dr. Kitay was awarded the “Top Doc” Award from Hampton Roads Magazine.


Outside the Office

Outside of his ophthalmology practice, Dr. Kitay enjoys many pastimes including:

  • golfing
  • playing tennis
  • biking
  • spending time in the kitchen
  • working outside in the yard.


Dr. Kitay resides in Newport News with his wife and two children. Read on to learn more about Dr. Steven Kitay.

At Hampton Roads Eye Associates – Oyster Point, our top priority is your eye health! We offer comprehensive eye exams for patients of any age, specialized eye care and treatment for a broad range of vision problems to the Hampton Roads community. Our Optometrists and Ophthalmologists are highly qualified in all areas of eye care. Schedule your exam online or call us today (757) 643-8800.

Congratulations! Dr. Gary Tanner Voted “Top Doc” for 2016

top doc 2016

Top Doc 2016 – the votes are in!

Hampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Tanner has been voted one of the “Top Docs” in Hampton Roads for 2016 by Coastal Virginia Magazine! The survey was sent to over 4,000 doctors in the area. Each doctor was given the opportunity to complete the peer survey identifying the top professionals they regard as being leaders in their fields. The 2016 Top Doc peer survey is the most selective list in the area, and a wonderful resource for the community.

Dr. Gary Tanner, M.D., a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, joined Hampton Roads Eye Associates in 2006, but has been serving patients in the Tidewater area since 1993 when his military service brought him to Virginia.

Dr. Tanner, a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, specializes in the latest techniques in cataract and oculoplastic surgery. In addition, he has extensive training and experience in the care of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and dry eyes, as well as comprehensive eye care.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Gary Tanner on his achievement! We love serving the Hampton Roads community with the highest quality comprehensive eye care.  


Hampton Roads Eye Associates Welcomes Dr. Larys

dr. larys

Dr. Larys has joined our team!

Hampton Roads Eye Associates is pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Larys to our team of ophthalmologists.

Dr. Robert Larys, M.D. is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. He joined Hampton Roads Eye Associates in 2015 as a comprehensive ophthalmologist. He specializes in the management of glaucoma, diabetes, dry eyes, infectious and inflammatory eye disease.

He has always had an interest in the science of vision and he finds that protecting and improving patients’ eyesight is a source of great personal and professional reward.

In his spare time, Dr. Larys enjoys learning about astronomy, and is an avid cyclist. He is a member of Team Portsmouth and The Chuckatuck Chain Ring road cycling clubs. We are pleased and proud to have Dr Larys join the Hampton Roads Eye Associates team and can’t wait to see what he adds to our expertise.  We know he will be a great addition to our practice and our patients.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Larys! Learn more about Dr. Larys.

National Doctors’ Day

national doctor's dayMarch 30th is National Doctor’s Day. It is a day to celebrate the contribution of physicians who serve our community by caring for its citizens.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates is proud to recognize and honor the many dedicated physicians in our community who make a difference every day.

The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. This first observance included the mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctors’ Day.

On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors’ Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctor’s Day. Following overwhelming approval by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George Bush signed S.J. RES. #366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30th as “National Doctors’ Day.”

Today, we take a moment to say “thank you” to our physicians for all they do for us and our patients.

Dr. Tanner voted as TOP DOC for 2014

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Tanner has been named a Top Doc of Hampton Roads for 2014 by Virignia Coastal Magazine. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Tanner! The 2014 Top Doctors peer survey is the most selective list in the area, and a wonderful resource for the community.

Dr. Gary Tanner, M.D., a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, joined Hampton Roads Eye Associates in 2006, but has been serving patients in the Tidewater area since 1993 when his military service brought him to Virginia.

Dr. Tanner, a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, specializes in the latest techniques in cataract and oculoplastic surgery.  In addition, he has extensive training and experience in the care of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and dry eyes, as well as comprehensive eye care.

top doc 2014

The voting for this survey to determine the top Coastal Virginia physicians was open to all licensed and practicing physicians in the Coastal Virginia Magazine’s market area. Each physician was allowed to nominate up to 3  physicians in each given medical specialty they deemed worthy of this honor.  Being voted a Top Doc 2014 by Coastal Virginia Magazine means that Dr. Tanner’s peers in the medical community have chosen to recognize his outstanding service to the Peninsula.  

top doc 2014


2013 Top Doc Awards

2013 top docs awardsWe are pleased to announce that three of our doctors have been named Top Docs of Hampton Roads for 2013.

Please join us in congratulating:

Dr. Denise R. Chamblee, M.D.

Dr. Steven E. Kitay, M.D.

Dr. Gary Tanner, M.D.

Every year Hampton Roads Magazine complies a list of the best doctors to help patients chose the best care for themselves and their families.  The survey conducted for this year’s list was done exclusively for Hampton Roads Magazine.  This year 3 of our practitioners have received the 2013 Top Doc award!

According to Hampton Roads Magazine, “Consumers’ Checkbook surveyed all active office-based doctors on the American Medical Association mailing list for the Hampton Roads area. It asked each surveyed doctor to explain which one or two specialists, in each of 41 different specialty fields, he or she ‘would consider most desirable for care of a loved one.’ The list of top doctors contains the names of physicians who were mentioned multiple times.”

The survey received approximately 226 doctor nominations. Those who received the most votes in each specialty are listed as Top Docs. We are proud of our 2013 Top Doc award winners, and are so pleased to have them as a part of the Hampton Roads Eye Associates Team.  Their skilled and caring practice of medicine is what makes our practice the best in the area, and we will continue to strive to be the best in what we do.  

Once again, congratulations to Dr. Chamblee, Dr. Kitay and Dr. Tanner!