Children's vision, development and eye care

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Children need regular eye examinations

Many children do not realize they have a vision problem because they may simply presume everyone sees the way they do. That is why eye exams are so critical for youngsters.  Organizations devoted to eye health estimate that one in five children has a vision disorder.  Regular eye examinations are the best way to ensure that if your child is one of them, the problem is corrected or treated so that it does not hold back your child's personal, academic and athletic development.

Despite the sobering statistics on childhood vision disorders, the most troubling statistic is that 86% of children start school without ever having had a comprehensive doctor's eye examination.  This means that millions of children go to school with sub-par vision or ocular-motor disorders which will make school more challenging than it needs to be. 

In our office we have encountered many children who are in special classes because they are unable to learn effectively in a regular classroom. Psychological tests reveal that these children have normal intelligence and are otherwise psychologically healthy.  At our office, they are finally diagnosed with common vision problems like myopia or hyperopia.  Many are also diagnosed with eye movement disorders like accommodative dysfunction and convergence insufficiency, which as behavioural optometrists we routinely test for. All these disorders are treatable.

The bare minimum vision care for children

As a bare minimum your child’s eyes should be examined:

Remember, a child does not need to be able to read or even talk to be examined.

Vision care for infants

For the first six months an infant's eyes at times appear crossed or out of alignment, but this is usually normal. However, after six months of age persistent misalignment should be reported to Dr. Randhawa without delay: the child may have a condition called strabismus and treatment should begin at an early age.

Another condition that is very important to diagnose in early childhood is amblyopia (lazy eye). It can be diagnosed in infants as young as six months, and early treatment is critical for best results. Treatment becomes very difficult after age eight and if untreated it can lead to total blindness in the affected eye.

Eye and vision care for preschoolers

Watch out for these symptoms that may indicate that your child has an eye health problem:

Bring your child to Dr. Randhawa immediately if you observe any of these symptoms.

Vision care for school-aged children

80% of learning is done with the eyes, so properly working eyes are vital for a school-aged child.

As part of a comprehensive eye health exam, Dr. Randhawa determines whether vision skills are adequately developed to handle reading, writing, the ability to see and understand clearly, sports and other visual work.

If any of these visual skills are lacking or impaired, your child will have to work harder and may develop headaches or fatigue. Don’t worry. If Dr. Randhawa finds that your child has a problem with any vision skills, she can treat the problem so that your child’s eyes are no longer a roadblock to academic success.

Caution: school screenings do not test for common vision conditions or assess eye health; they are no substitute for seeing a doctor.

The school years are visually demanding periods of rapid growth and your child’s eyes change the most during these years. Because of this, your child should have a comprehensive eye health exam before starting kindergarten, and regularly throughout the school years.

About 10 per cent of school-aged children have vision-related problems, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There is a significant link between learning difficulties and vision problems. Dr. Randhawa can help ensure the best in lifelong learning for your child.

Eyes and Learning

A good education depends on healthy eyes. One in six school-age children experience learning difficulties that are attributed to vision conditions. Many of these kids are smarter than average but they may work below their potential or even be labeled learning-disabled.

Dr. Randhawa has helped many of these kids through Vision Therapy or the prescription of the appropriate corrective lenses. Visual problems that impact learning are binocular vision disorders and visual information processing deficits.  In fact, the most common binocular vision disorder, convergence insufficiency, has behavioural symptoms that overlap with those of ADHD and many children thought to have ADHD have convergence insufficiency. Research has shown that Vision therapy treatment for the latter can resolves some or all of the child's problem behaviours.

Here are some symptoms that may indicate that your child has a visual problem. If you see any of these in your child, take him or her to see Dr. Randhawa:

Related Articles:


Vision therapy for convergence insufficiency improves academic behaviours - according to a new scientific study Read more.

Research confirms vision therapy can Improve reading comprehension and improve a child's overall attention in the classroom
Friday, July 5, 2013

Visual Input Important in Developmental Dyslexia
Tuesday, July 2, 2013

If your child has reading problems, treatable vision and eye movement disorders may be the reason
Sunday, June 9, 2013

Visual processing and learning disorders 
Apr 17, 2013

60% of learning disabled students failed two or more binocular vision tests
Oct 20, 2012

More visual symptoms means lower academic performance
Feb 29, 2012

Vision therapy for convergence insufficiency improves academic performance ...
Jan 16, 2012

82% of teachers report an improvement in students after vision therapy 
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Binocular vision dysfunctions ate my homework 
Mar 31, 2012

Study proves that vision problems interfere with learning

More visual symptoms means lower academic performance 
Feb 29, 2012

Vision therapy for convergence insufficiency improves academic performance ... 
Jan 16, 2012 

82% of teachers report an improvement in students after vision therapy 
Jun 16, 2012 

Binocular vision dysfunctions ate my homework 
Mar 31, 2012 

Study proves that vision problems interfere with learning and cause dyslexia 
Apr 25, 2012

60% of students labeled "learning disabled" failed two or more binocular vision tests
Oct 20, 2012

 

 

 

 

Children's vision and learning

An eye exam is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

An doctor's eye exam is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.  It can even save your life. Brain tumors, cancer and diabetes are often diagnosed first in the eyes - early enough to initiate treatment which could save your life.  Remember, the earlier we catch a disease the easier it is to beat it.

 

To protect your heart, get an eye exam

To protect your heart, get an eye exam!

"Get an eye exam" to protect your heart  - on Good Morning America - April 2012