When should my child have their eyes examined?

The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends that all children have an eye examination at the age of six months, at age 2; then every 12- 24 months as recommended by an optometrist.

Vision screenings are often no longer done in schools by public health nurses. A screening does not replace a comprehensive eye examination, it only tries to identify at risk children and identify the basics of visual acuity. Even with a vision screening it is important to have your child's eyes examined by an optometrist - and OHIP covers eye exams for all those under 20 years of age.

After your child's eye examination, you should know the essentials including:

1. If your child has good depth perception
2. If your child has good colour vision
3. If your child's eyes are healthy
4. If your child can focus well
5. If your child's eyes are working together

One of the most important aspects of the full and comprehensive optometric eye exam is the ability to assess overall eye and vision health. There are many causal factors that may contribute to vision challenges and only your optometrist is trained to help identify these factors.

Your child’s vision is vital in developing skills such as: Reading,Copying,Hand-eye coordination, social skills.More than 80%  of learning is done through the eyes.

Children with poor vision often find it difficult to focus on their work and may be misdiagnosed as having a learning or behavioural disability.  One in six children has a vision problem significant enough to impair their ability to learn.

Regular eye exams can detect health problems and conditions such as a turned or lazy eye in the early stages. These conditions may be treated successfully if an optometrist diagnoses them early in a child’s life; if they go undetected, they can lead to permanent sight loss.

Often, there are no signs that a child has a vision problem, making regular eye examinations very important. Young children do not have the experience necessary to know what is normal as far as their vision is concerned; they often assume that everyone sees things the way they do.

Vision screening programs are no longer a common practice, and are not a replacement for a comprehensive examination by an optometrist; in fact, as many as 43% of children with vision problems may be able to pass a basic vision screening.

REMEMBER YOUR EYES ARE SCHOOL SUPPLIES…MAKE SURE THEY ARE READY FOR SCHOOL!

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Dr. Patricia Fink

OPTOMETRIST

Millcroft Shopping Centre
2080 Appleby Line, Unit E6
Burlington, Ontario, L7L6M6
Tel: (905) 319-1066