Did you know that 1 in 5 children has an undetected vision problem?
These rarely threaten a child’s sight but they can prevent their development and can interfere with learning, inhibit sport participation, or create general frustration. Many children’s vision problems cannot be easily detected by parents or teachers and are often mistaken for other problems, especially as children try to adapt to their vision problem without knowing they could see better.
Through regular eye examinations from the age of 3-4 years, and by following some simple guidelines, you can help your child to achieve the best possible vision and prevent conditions that can lead to permanent vision impairment.
Signs that could indicate a possible vision problem:
- One eye turns in or out while the other points straight ahead
- Frequent blinking
- Red or watery eyes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Covering or closing one eye
- Holding a book very close to read
- Squinting or sitting very close when watching television
- Difficulty recognising familiar people in the distance
- Complaints of headaches
- Complaints of blurred or double vision
The most common vision problems experienced by school-aged children are those affecting the ability to see clearly and sharply:
- Shortsightedness (blurred distance vision)
- Longsightedness (difficulty focusing up close)
- Astigmatism (distortion of vision).
- Binocular Vision Disorders
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Your child’s vision is important and a simple vision screening can easily miss these types of problems. It is very important that children have their eyes examined before they start school, preferably at age 3-4 yrs, and at regular intervals after that. Eye exams for children are age-appropriate and we see children as young as is required if there are any concerns prior to three. Early Intervention can sometimes make all the difference to the child’s future.