The importance of regular children's eye exams
Did you know about 80% of what is taught in schools is presented visually?
Eye exams for children are very important to ensure your child's eyes are healthy and have no vision problems that could interfere with school performance and potentially affect your child's safety.
Poor eyesight can cause learning and behavioural problems, which might be blamed on other things because children often assume their vision is just like everyone else's, which means that vision problems can easily go undetected.
Children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. They then should have their eyes examined at age 3 and again just before they start school — at about age 5 to 6.
Early and regular eye tests are the only way to help prevent avoidable permanent damage. In a recent study, 'The Association of Optometrists' (AOP) found that:
● 74% of optometrists had seen children within the past year whose vision problems could have been treated more successfully had they been diagnosed earlier.
● Of these, 89% had diagnosed cases of amblyopia in the past year that could have received more successful treatment had the problem been spotted sooner.
Keep an eye out for any of these possible visual symptoms to ensure that any issues can be detected early:
- One eye turns in or out while the other points straight ahead
- Straining their eyes or tilting their head to see better
- Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
- Losing their place while reading, or using a finger to guide their eyes
- Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing
- Falling behind in school
- Complaining of headaches, tired eyes and/or blurred or double vision
- Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
- Avoiding activities which require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities
- Covering or closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
- Avoiding using a computer or tablet because it "hurts their eyes"
- A "white reflex" in photographs. This is similar in appearance to red-eye, except it’s white. It is extremely serious – if you notice it, you should seek medical attention immediately