Children require clear vision in each eye and both eyes working together properly to be successful in school and extracurricular activities. We use our eyes to read, write, throw a ball, utilize computers, and watch TV as well as other activities. As children advance in school, the demand for clear vision increases because they spend more time reading and learning. Thus, any vision problems should be addressed at an early age to prevent visual and/or learning difficulties.
There are many signs of difficulty with vision that may be more complicated than blurry vision alone. Children may:
- Avoid reading
- Have trouble learning
- Notice that letters float on the page
- Experience double and/or blurry vision
- Rub their eyes
- Experience headaches
- Have trouble focusing
There are many different conditions that can cause the above complaints including:
- Strabismus (Eye turns in or out)
- Amblyopia (Poor vision in an otherwise healthy eye )
- Eye Teaming Disorders
- Eye Tracking Disorders
- Visual Perception Disorders
Luckily, if these conditions are diagnosed early, many of these visual problems can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, patching, or vision therapy.
Many parents assume that when a child passes their school screening, they do not have any visual problems. However, school screenings usually only test distance vision, and may not assess other aspects of the eyes including near vision, eye teaming, and eye health. Additionally, these screenings are not performed by eye care professionals and some children have been known to trick their way past the screening. All of the components of an eye examination need to be checked to ensure that a child has the proper vision to learn appropriately. Children’s eyes are constantly changing and developing, and he or she may not even notice when problems start.
It is not unusual for someone not to realize they don’t have good vision until they are shown what good vision is. Visual problems have even been misdiagnosed as learning disabilities and attention deficits. Therefore, if no problems have been noted sooner, the first time a comprehensive eye exam should be completed is at six months of age and continued yearly from age three, unless recommended more frequently by your eye doctor.
At Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida, we strive to provide excellent care for children and adults of all ages. Please contact one of our locations with any questions or concerns.
Bio: Ophthalmologist David M. Loewy, MD specializes in laser and cataract surgery and practices at Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida.