Children’s eye tests are important. In fact, around 80% of all learning during a child’s first 12 years comes through vision. Whether it be reading, writing, smart board work, or using a computer; a child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. So, it is important to monitor the development of children’s vision and their ongoing eye health. An eye test for kids will do this for you.
Good vision is essential to a child’s growth, development and everyday performance.
Children won’t tell you if they have a problem
Children assume their vision is the same as everyone else’s, so it’s common for visual problems to go unnoticed. For parents, it is important to be aware of the symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision problem, as well as the need for regular eye tests. Undetected vision problems can interfere with children’s ability to learn and meet their full potential. Physical, emotional, and social development can also be compromised.
An eye test for kids is recommended before their first birthday. Kids should then have a regular comprehensive eye examination every two years by an experienced Optometrist.
Vision problems in children
The most common vision problems in children include long-sightedness (difficulty seeing objects up close), shortsightedness (difficulty seeing objects in the distance), and astigmatism which is where the front part of the eye is shaped more like a rugby ball as opposed to a soccer ball, distorting their vision.
Having 20/20 vision doesn’t preclude children from having other vision-related learning problems.
Commonly known as lazy eye, amblyopia is an example of an eye condition that affects some children and where early detection is important to avoid long term damage. When the brain does not receive the same visual information from both eyes, it can effectively switch off the vision in one eye in order to obtain a clear picture. It is important to correct this problem as young as possible to avoid a permanently “turned off” eye.
A simple vision screening can easily miss this type of problem, hence the need for a comprehensive eye test by an experienced Optometrist.
Binocular vision problems
When the eyes don’t function well together to provide clear single vision, a double image or double vision occurs.
Know the signs and symptoms of eye problems in a child
Recognising the possible signs of a vision problem may assist your child, or someone else’s, now or in the future. Between children’s eye tests, monitor for:
- one eye turns in or out while the other points straight ahead
- frequent blinking
- red or watery eyes
- sensitivity to light
- frequently rubbing the eyes
- difficulty concentrating
- tilting head noticeably
- covering or closing one eye
- difficulty learning to read
- holding a book very close to read
- leaving out or confusing words when reading
- squinting or sitting very close when watching television
- difficulty recognising familiar people in the distance
- complaints of headaches, blurred or double vision
Children’s vision therapy
The visual skills needed for learning depend on so much more than 20/20 eyesight. Eye exercises can help with some children’s vision problems such as:
- amblyopia (lazy eye)
- eye alignment and coordination problems
- poor focus
- inadequate eye-hand coordination
Vision therapy aims to improve a child’s visual abilities through one or a combination of eye exercises, lenses, prisms, or eye patching. Vision therapy programs are tailored to the individual child and are targeted toward particular conditions.
Children’s eye tests can be booked by clicking on “make an appointment” at the top of this page.