It is vitally important that we, as parents, monitor our children's vision from an early age so that we can detect any eye conditions that may affect them in the long term.
When we were children we loved to play. We loved to ride our bikes and were constantly playing with toys. Most children enjoy active pastimes and sports of all kinds. However, if a child suffers from an eye condition that affects their ability to see the world, then they may not fully enjoy these types of activities.
Have Eye Examinations before Learning Begins
The American Optometric Association suggests that young children have a comprehensive vision examination when they are six-months-old, this should be followed up when they reach three-years-of age and again when they are five-years old. Early detection is critical in preventing and treating vision conditions that can affect your child's vision and success in school and life for many years to come. For more information on eye care for infants and toddlers, please click here
. (PDF file)
In particular, children should receive a thorough eye examination during the summer before starting kindergarten. After testing is completed, an expert will review the data and then write a comprehensive report. Children's vision care examinations can reveal that children suffer from one of several types of eye conditions.
These common eye conditions include conjunctivitis or "pink eye" which is an infection that involves the eye's outermost layer. It includes three types of condition (namely allergic, bacterial and viral), each of which require unique types of treatment. With the exception of the allergic variety, this disease is generally extremely contagious.
Another common condition that young children are prone to is crossed eyes (also referred to as wandering eye or wall eye), which is an eye condition that can be readily detected through regular children's vision care and examination. This condition affects approximately 4% of American children. This visual defect causes both eyes to point in different directions. For example, one eye may look straight ahead, while the other looks either up, down, in or out. Accordingly sufferers of this condition experience eyes that cannot see as a single unit, and cannot see in a three dimensional form. Children with this condition should receive professional vision therapy as early as possible.
Thirdly, slightly more than 10% of the entire U.S. population suffers from Binocular Vision Impairment, which can be detected via children's vision care. It causes the two eyes to not function collectively and as a consequence the child will experience a partial or complete inability to function simultaneously. People who suffer from this condition are not be able to view and gauge depths nor are they able to see in three dimensions.
Finally, Amblyopia (or lazy eye) is a visual impairment that regular children's vision care and examination can also readily detect. This condition affects roughly 2-3% of children in the U.S. and is as a result of poor control of muscles in a single eye, or reduced visual clarity. Children with this eye problem often develop problems relating to depth perception, and seeing in three dimensions. It is very important that this visual problem be detected early, as visual therapy can have a positive impact on it.
Vision Problems Can Affect Learning
Further, it is vitally important to detect if your child has learning-related visual problems as soon as possible. If you think that your child is experiencing difficulties in this regard then spend some time observing your child to determine if he:
* Blinks, squints or rubs his eyes constantly after doing close visual work
* Complains about cloudy vision after reading or schoolwork
* Holds objects extremely close to his face so as to see clearly
* Has difficulty differentiating left from right, tying shoelaces, or catching a ball
* Complains of eyestrain or regular headaches
* Experiences low reading compression
* Avoids reading
* Complains of being exhausted after reading
* Periodically reverses letters or words
Childhood is a fun and wonderful time which should be one of the best times of a person's life. Take the time to ensure that your children's vision care is a part of your family's health routine. By taking precautionary steps early in their lives the optometric experts can determine if your child has vision problems and then subsequently introduce the appropriate treatment. Keep your children's eyes healthy and let them focus their attention on having fun and living life to the fullest.
For more details on children's vision care, maintaining your family's eye health and vision correction options, call us today at (512) 419-1212.