If a child’s vision is not assessed early in life (as early as 6 months) it can have the following impact:
- Impair child development
- Interfere with learning
- Lead to permanent vision loss
- Cause behavioral and attention issues
An eye exam will include a variety of tests looking at overall eye health, as well as for vision problems including eye tracking, eye focusing and eye coordination.
Early detection and tracking of changes is key!
Common ocular conditions that can be diagnosed and treated by an optometrist
- Refractive error- myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism
- PREVENTION of future high myopia (nearsightedness)
- Strabismus (an eye turn), amblyopia (“lazy eye”, other binocular issues
- Inefficient or under-developed visual skills
- Eye infections- viral conjunctivitis, blepharitis
- Hyperopia is a common vision condition in adults.
- People with hyperopia must squint to see nearby objects. Reading, writing, computer work, or drawing for long periods of time may cause eye strain and headache.
- Young people with hyperopia can often accommodate and have perfect vision.
Astigmatism: having different prescriptions in different parts of one eye
- You can overcome astigmatism by squinting
- A condition in which close objects appear clearly, but far ones don’t
- A growing concern in the overall population.
Learning related vision problem
NOT related to eye problems that require glasses.
A learning related vision problem is due to deficient visual skills
Visual Skills include
- Eye Focusing
- Eye Teaming
- Eye Tracking
- Visual Perceptual Motor
If these skills are deficient, they make it difficult to read, write, copy, and perform written math.
Specific symptoms if visual skills are deficient
- Eye Focusing: blurry vision not caused by the need for glasses
- Eye Teaming: double vision / words in a book moving
- Both can cause visual discomfort / eye headaches
- Eye Tracking: Difficulty keeping place while reading or copying
- Visual Perceptual Motor: messy writing, copying is slow with errors, sight word recognition errors, applied spelling errors, reversal errors, and sequence errors
“While visual acuity (the “20/20” part of vision) requires glasses to improve, visual skills such as tracking together along a line of text must be learned during development, these skills can also be improved later in life at any age.”
- College of Optometrists in Visual Development (COVD)