Vision is vital for the learning and development of your child from the time they are born. Babies learn more from what they see than all the other senses combined.
As children grow and develop their eyes and eyesight changes. Children may not always realise or be able to articulate if they are not seeing clearly.
Research shows 20 per cent of children have an undetected vision problem, which could be easily corrected.
To ensure any vision problems are detected and corrected as early as possible it is recommended children have a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist:
• Before they start school (five or six years old)
• Every year after that if there are no symptoms (or as recommended by your optometrist)
• As soon as possible if you have concerns
While young children may not be able to read letters from a chart, your optometrist can still perform a series of special tests to thoroughly examine a child’s eyesight and eye health.
Depending on the age of the child, an optometrist can adapt a vision test to carefully examine visual acuity (clarity of vision), ability to focus and perception of depth and colour. Cards with symbols, pictures or numbers may be used in place of a typical letter chart for children who are unable to read.
As well as testing your child’s vision an optometrist will use several tools and devices to examine the health of the eyes and ensure there are no signs of eye disease or abnormalities.
All these conditions can be easily corrected with the help of an optometrist.
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is a condition where there is decreased vision in one or both eyes. If this is detected early it can often be successfully treated without any long-term vision problems.
A turned or misaligned eye may occur when the two eyes aren’t working together as a team. In most cases this can be corrected with exercises if detected early. If untreated it can lead to Amblyopia (lazy eye) and long-term vision problems.
This is a condition where your eyes are unable to work together when looking at near objects causing discomfort or double vision when reading. Convergence insufficiency is often picked up when children have difficulty reading at school. It can usually be easily and effectively treated with eye exercises.
As with any vision problem or eye condition, early detection and treatment is vital to ensure your child has the best, clearest vision possible.