Many children have some form of visual problem and of all children with perceived learning difficulties, 40 percent have a visual problem.
A major barrier to diagnosing visual problems is communication. As vision problems tend to have a progressive nature, children will often assume that their poor vision is normal and representative of their peers; hence the problem is not communicated.
How important is good vision to my child?
Vision is especially important to a child. More than 80 percent of the information children receive about the world comes through their eyes. This means that poor vision can affect the child’s development in many ways including their performance at school, self-confidence and personality development.
What happens if I don’t have my child’s eyes tested?
The importance of your child having their vision checked cannot be underestimated. Eye problems in children can develop quickly. Left unattended, problems can deteriorate vision, in some cases, irreparably. Early detection greatly increases the chance of successful treatment.
What sort of problems may be found with my child’s vision?
The most common children’s vision problems are those affecting the ability to see clearly and sharply, such as shortsightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. Problems that can be more difficult to detect and lead to longer-term problems include poor coordination of the eyes, turned eye, eye movement defects, difficulties in focusing control and poor hand eye coordination.
Is there any way I can tell that my child has a vision problem?
A comprehensive assessment can only be done by visiting your optometrist. However, if your child has learning difficulties or is struggling with attention or concentration, is reluctant or unable to read for long periods of time or experiencing memory problems, there may be an underlying vision problem. Additional clues include poor hand eye coordination, holding books very close while reading, eye rubbing, squinting or closing one eye, head tilting or turning, excessive blinking or watery eyes and difficulty seeing things you can see.
What is involved in having my child’s vision checked?
Having your child’s vision tested is simple, painless and results in an immediate outcome as to whether there is cause for concern. In some cases, children with problems can be treated with eye exercises rather than glasses. Your optometrist will give you a full explanation including the nature of the problem, treatment options and the expected outcome, including the long-term expectation of your child’s vision. Further tests of visual perception may be recommended.