Depending on the age of the child, different tests are used to obtain important information to assess the child’s visual ability and perceptual function. A cycloplegic refraction, making use of medicated eye drops, is often indicated in young children to obtain reliable results.
Good stable vision is essential for each child’s development. Being aware of various signs and symptoms, parents, caregivers and teachers should be able to recognise visual shortcomings.
Identifying children with vision problems
The symptoms of different eye disorders can vary widely, but one or more of the following signs could indicate that a child has a vision problem:
- While reading
– Hold book too close or too far from eyes
– Blinks frequently
– Frequently changes the distance at which book is held
– Looks cross-eyed at page
– Frequently loses place on page
– Tilts head to one side
– Frequently confuses words, syllables or letters
– Stops reading after a short period of time
- While looking at distant objects
– Narrow eyes (squints) and screws up face to see clearly
– Bends head forward while looking up at the object
– Tenses body
- Frequently rubs eyes
- Complains that eyes hurt, burn or feel dry and scratchy
- Seems to want to brush something from the eyes
- Develops headaches, nausea or dizziness after periods of close-up work
- Seems to lose concentration when things are explained on board, wall chart of poster
- Covers one eye to see something more clearly
- Eyes are frequently red or bloodshot, seem infected or water excessively
- Unusual sensitivity to light or inability to adopt to conditions of low light
- A problem that is often overlooked and can have debilitating effects is children with allergens (e.g. hay fever) who tend to rub their eyes excessively. This rubbing can cause the cornea to deform, leading to keratoconus (irregular thinning of cornea).
Progressive myopia is a growing concern in our children and orthokeratology has proved to slow down this progression by 55-100%. Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is the fitting of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that you wear overnight. While you are asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (cornea) so you can see clearly the following day after you remove the lenses when you wake up.
Feel free to book your appointment to trial a pair of contact lenses for your individual needs.