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April 14th, 2015

Children’s Vision

Craig Segel
By Craig Segel
Bachelor of Optometry

Vision problems are common in young and school aged children and the prevalence of these problems increase as children progress through school. It is important that these problems are detected and corrected early so that your child has the best chance of reaching their full learning potential. Good vision is important for your child’s educational, physical and social development.

Some signs that may indicate possible vision problems:

  • Squinting the eyes or difficulty seeing in the distance
  • Holding a book very close when reading
  • Rubbing the eyes
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Complaints of tired eyes or headaches
  • Missing out words when reading
  • Covering or closing one eye
  • An eye that turns in or out

The most common vision problems that school aged children experience are:

  • Shortsightedness / Myopia (blurred distance vision)
  • Long-sightedness / Hyperopia (difficulty focusing at near)
  • Astigmatism (distortion of vision at distance and near)

Once detected, these conditions are usually easily corrected with spectacles or contact lenses. In some cases binocular vision problems such as accommodation or vergence difficulties,   lazy or turned eye, can be treated if detected early.

Children spend many hours using computers and screen based equipment, playing video games and watching television. It is important that they are made aware of taking regular breaks, have sufficient room lighting, have the screen positioned correctly and that reflections are minimized.

Sunglasses are also very important and will reduce the amount of UV rays reaching your child’s eyes. Specialized sport and safety frames can usually be fitted with your child’s prescription to enable them to reach their full potential while playing sport.