Children Vision Eye Exams

Proper visual development is key to a child’s overall development. It is highly recommended that a child has an eye examination, as early as 3 years of age, if not earlier.

Children are usually born with fairly clear eyesight, but not vision. Vision is learned over time. When a child is born, the child goes through many steps to master critical visual skills.

The purpose of a vision evaluation is to look at a child’s visual skills, to evaluate whether they are performing at their age level. A child’s vision development is critical in determining how he or she will meet life’s demands.

Vision problems are a leading source of learning and academic difficulties. Many of these vision problems can be detected and corrected long before they interfere with a childs academic performance. Many of these vision problems are related to nearpoint stress and are undetected by a school nurse or paediatrician. Early intervention is very important.

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Vision is such a complex process

Experts estimate 80 percent of what we learn is acquired through vision

An optometrist trained in working with a child can assess many important things about their vision. The behavioural optometrist is well trained at using a retinoscope to assess where and how well each eye is focusing on a target. There are devices that can also measure the child’s eyesight without the child saying anything.

The behavioural optometrist also evaluates the child’s eye movement (tracking) skills, the child’s ability to use the eyes together (binocularity), the ability to keep the eyes aligned as a target is moved inwards (convergence), the child’s ability to guide their hands to find a target, their balance, and their ability to move their eyes back and forth across the midline of their body. The optometrist can evaluate the child’s ability to change their focus from one target to another. These skill are all essential skills for success in school, sports and life in general.  And, importantly, the optometrist can make sure that both eyes are healthy.

Many hidden vision problems are common in children and a missed eye or vision problem can lead to reduced performance at school and persist later in life.

Childrens Eye Exams Mt Annan

Vision Checklist for Children

Here are some examples of common signs and behaviours which may indicate visual acuity or visual processing problems in children.

If any of these signs or symptoms are noticed a full visual examination is recommended.

    • Child complains of blurred vision
    • Close reading or writing distance
    • Poor reading comprehension which worsens with time
    • Squinting, blinking or holding the book close
    • Excessive head movement when reading
    • Short attention span
    • Covers or closes eyes when reading
    • Rubs eyes a lot
    • Difficulty knowing their own right from left
    • Persistent reversal of letters and numbers
    • Writes their name from right to left
    • Squints, for board or desk work
    • Frequent after-school headaches
    • Must re-read to understand
    • Takes hours to do 30 minutes of homework
    • Complains of words moving or jumbling on the page
    • Gets sleepy when reading
    • Easily distracted, especially during near work
    • Misaligns columns of numbers
    • Double vision
    • Doesn’t work up to potential
    • Unusual head turn or poor body posture when reading
    • Loses place often when reading or copying from the board
    • Can respond orally but has difficulty producing written answers

    • Reads Slowly
    • Mistakes words with similar beginnings
    • Poor spacing of writing and inability to stay on the line
    • Difficulty remembering what has been read
    • Blur changing from reading to distance viewing
    • Incorrect order of well known letter clusters
    • Poor spelling
    • Difficulty copying
    • An eye that turns in or out
    • Feeling tired with reading
    • Watery eyes
    • Red eyes
    • Eyes bothered by light
    • Crooked or poorly spaced writing
    • Clumsiness or poor concentration
    • Still reverses words, letters, beyond 2nd grade
    • Must use finger to hold place while reading
    • Class clown, distracting others
    • Moody, aggressive behaviours
    • Refuses to do homework
    • Has been suggested to have A.D.D.
    • Skips words or lines, needs to use their finger as a guide
    • Difficulty recognising the same word repeated on a page
    • Complains of headaches or eyestrain especially with near tasks
    • Learns spelling words well, then cannot recall words during spelling test

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