All children by age 3 to 4 years of age should have had their first eye exam, or immediately if there are concerns. Children do not know how they are supposed to be seeing,and parents may think their children see perfectly, but this may not be so.
Visual development occurs in childhood years. During this time our eyes make neural connections in the visual cortex of the brain.
If an eye has a significant prescription, pathology or strabismus (eye turn), it will fail to make adequate neural connections and vision will not develop properly.
The eye is then called "lazy" or amblyopic and has limited or poor vision.
Amblyopia is usually treated with the use of glasses, prescribed eye patching and visual exercises. Strabismus surgery is necessary in some cases. Younger children in the 0 - 10 year age group generally respond well to amblyopia therapy, older children and adults generally not.
The purpose therefore of children's eye exams is to ensure good vision in both eyes and rule out amblyopia, to ensure good ocular health and to ensure normal binocular vision and eye alignment. We often employ different techniques when checking children, and are usually able to assess them even if they are non verbal or not yet able to read and recognize letters. Remember if children do not see properly, they will not be able to learn properly.
Some tell tale signs that your child may be having
visual difficulties include :
*Squinting of eyes
*Eyes that turn or deviate
*Holding books to close or going close to the TV
or computer monitor
*Eye strain symptoms like burning, itching,tearing,
*Avoiding visual tasks
*Closing or covering an eye for certain tasks
*Tilting or turning head for certain tasks
80% of learning takes place through the visual system
Example of children's vision chart
Dr. Alan Brown Optometrist 4915 Bathurst St (at Finch),
Family vision care Suite 211
416-225-0846 M2R 1X9