Many vision problems can be treated if caught early, but not all parents realize that regular exams at an early age are important. This October, remember that undiagnosed vision problems can impact a child’s learning and development.
Last month we underscored how vital vision is in the process of learning at school: 80% of classroom learning is visual. Vision problems can affect babies and children of all ages, making early and regular eye exams by a qualified optometrist essential.
In the youngest children, eye rubbing can be a sign of a vision problem. If we see a young child rubbing their eyes we might assume an irritant is present, as with allergies, but it may be their vision is bothering them.
Common problems that can occur, sometimes together, include:
- strabismus (misaligned eyes)
- myopia (nearsightedness)
- hyperopia (farsightedness)
- astigmatism (causing distorted / blurred vision)
Glasses may be prescribed to treat these types of conditions successfully.
In addition, it’s possible that an eye disorder or disease may be present that needs to be addressed differently. One such example is Keratoconus, a progressive condition which causes thinning of the cornea at the front of the eye.
And not just any eye test will help to identify these conditions. Without the expertise of an optometrist and a comprehensive eye exam, your child’s vision problem could go undetected.
Regular Eye Exams
Children should have their first routine eye examination between two and three years of age. However, if there are concerns such as a misaligned eye, frequent rubbing and blinking, infections, or failure to meet developmental milestones, infants as young as 6 months of age can be examined by our eye doctors.
Your child does not need to be able to read or to identify letters to have an eye examination.
The good news is that OHIP covers an annual comprehensive eye exam up to and including the age of 19.
Start a great yearly tradition with a visit to have your child’s eyes checked.