We are often asked if children should have their eyes examined if they are not reporting any difficulties. The short answer is yes.
Children typically do not notice subtle changes in their vision. Their visual world is different from ours as adults. They are not driving and having to keep an eye out for street signs. They are not spending 8-10 hours a day in front of documents or the computer like an adult in an office setting.
Frequently our optometrists will see children who reported “normal vision” to their parents or teachers who are later found to have less than perfect sight in their eye examination. Some children with poor visual skills will have the ability to put in more effort and energy into the physical task of seeing things clearly.
In this instance, a child might be able to read and write for a short while but then they need to take a break to allow their visual system to recover. They might rub their eyes, close an eye or tilt their head when they read. Some students with visual problems struggle with fluency, comprehension and concentration.
What is Included in a Comprehensive Eye Exam?
A comprehensive school-aged vision exam explores more than just a child’s ability to see. The optometrist will examine the health of your child’s eyes and vision. They will also devote time to assess your child’s binocular vision skills. These skills are responsible for the way the two eyes focus and converge/diverge as a team when a child is reading, looking at the board or rapidly switching between the two.
Tracking eye movements, saccadic (rapid) eye movements and the ability to move eyes independent of head and body movement may also be examined. These skills are important for the smooth and efficient use of the eyes when reading and working in the classroom.
Book Your Kid’s Eye Test
Our children use vision to explore the world and learn just about everything. It’s important to have your child’s eyesight examined, particularly at key moments in their lives including when they turn three and a half years old and then before starting their formal schooling.
At Bayside Eyecare we provide a stress-free eye tests for children. Visit the kid’s eye test page to find out more, or speak to our friendly team on (03) 9909 5329 or book an appointment online today.