Yearly eye exams for children are important starting at 6 months old. Early detection of a child’s vision problem is crucial because children are more responsive to treatments when diagnosed early.
Specifics of how the eye exam will be conducted depends on your child’s age but in every case the following is completed;
- An in depth case history
- Visual acuity measurements
- Depth perception assessment
- Binocular and colour vision tests
- A look at muscle functions around the eye; including eye motility and pupil reaction
- Examination of the overall health of the eye including the lids, cornea, lens, iris, retina and optic nerve.
There are a lot of common vision problems including;
- nearsightedness (difficulty seeing objects in the distance),
- farsightedness (difficulty seeing objects up close) and
- astigmatism (front surface of your eye/the cornea or the lens inside your eye/your intraocular lens is not perfectly round and smooth like it should be. Instead, it’s wavy, causing whatever you’re looking at to be distorted).
Here are two examples of vision problems which can all be corrected with early detection and proper intervention.
- Amblyopia (Lazy eye): Is characterized by poor vision in one eye because it is not used enough. Early detection allows us to correct this by patching the eye with the best vision so that the eye with poor vision can become stronger. If not the damage can become permanent.
- Strabismus: Is the misalignment of eyes. There are a few different causes, one example would be problems with muscle control in the affected eye or eyes. Strabismus is another vision problem that has better treatment success rates if done as early as possible in life, while the brain and nervous system are still capable of change.
“I know this may sound a little scary, but I have heard so many parents say “If my child had vision problems I would know…” Ask yourself this; how is your child to know he/she is having vision problems when what they see every day is their normal and they don`t know any better? Watching children “see” for the first time in their lives is honestly one of the most rewarding parts of my jobs and one of the many reasons I work in this field.”
Children are covered under OHIP for yearly eye exams until the age of 20, so why not take advantage of this great opportunity and have your child’s vision tested with one of our eyeDOCS optometrists.