Back to School with Perfect Vision
The phrase “Back to School” is now on the tip of the tongue as summer holidays are winding down.
Parents have begun the preparations to make sure their children are good and ready for their first day and new year to start learning.Getting your child’s eyes tested before their first day is another thing to put on your back to school to-do list.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommend a child’s first eye examination should be between 6 and 9 months of age. Then at least one eye examination between 2 and 5 years old, followed by annual eye examinations after that. OHIP covers eye examinations for children once a year until the age of 20.
Signs and symptoms caregivers should look for that may indicated a child is having problems with their vision or eyes are:
- problems seeing things in the distance
- problems reading
- closing one eye
- rubbing eyes
- a head tilt
- red eyes
- headaches abnormal eye alignment (eye turn)
If you observe these signs have your child get their eyes tested with an optometrist.
Common eye conditions in children are:
Nearsighted-ness (Myopia) which is the inability to see objects in the distance.
Farsighted-ness (Hyperopia) which causes near objects to be out of focus more so than distance objects.
Astigmatism which causes objects at all distances to be out of focus. Those with astigmatism have eyes that are more egg or football shaped.
Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism are treated with glasses or contact lenses.
Amblyopia is where the eye does not develop to 20/20 vision. Amblyopia is also referred to as a lazy eye.Treatment for amblyopia are glasses and patching. Patching involves covering the stronger eye in order to strengthen the weaker or amblyopic eye.
is an eye turn or misalignment of the eyes. Eye turns can be outward, inward, up or down. Those with an eye turn may also have coinciding amblyopia. Strabismus can be treated with glasses, eye exercises or in some cases surgery is needed to align the eyes.
If amblyopia or strabismus is not diagnosed and treated before the ages of 6 to 9 years old, visual improvement in some cases is not possible.
Here are some facts about children and the eyes:
- 80% percent of learning occurs through vision
- 25% of school aged children have a vision problem that needs treatment
- Only 14% of children under the age 6 have had their eyes examined
- 2-5% of children have amblyopia
- 8% of males and 0.5% of females are colour blind
When thinking of back to school, lets also think about our child’s vision and it’s importance in learning. Schedule an eye examination today.