Children's Vision

Ensure Your Child has a Clear View of the World

Childrens Vision

80% of Our Learning is Visual ...

So if the visual system is not working correctly our learning is affected. Children with uncorrected vision problems can struggle to develop academically, socially and athletically.

As parents we love our children and take parenting responsibilities seriously. Looking after the physical and emotional health of our children is our top priority. That means a healthy diet, exercise and lots of love and regular visits to the doctors when needed. With such a good intent it’s surprising to know that there’s one aspect of our child’s health that is often overlooked.......their vision.

Eye health and the development of normal vision, is a frequently neglected aspect of wellbeing, usually receiving attention only when our picture of the world becomes a blur! In truth there are a number of relatively ‘silent’ vision problems which can affect our children without us realising there is a problem. That is why it’s important to see Orewa Optics for a thorough vision assessment when your child turns three, then again shortly before starting school, with two yearly visits thereafter.

Pre-schoolers spend most of their waking hours looking at whatever is at the end of their arm, whether it’s a puzzle, building blocks or a soft toy. Starting school at the age of five means they are suddenly immersed in a world of structure which may require them to maintain near vision for reading and writing, for several hours a day. This is a significant change to the way they use their eyes and vision problems can occur as a result.

It is not too difficult to tell when your child is having problems with distance viewing. Tell-tale signs include: sitting too close to the television or complaining that they can’t see the blackboard clearly in the classroom. Detecting problems with near vision can be much more challenging but common symptoms are squinting, frequent blinking and rubbing the eyes. Avoidance of close vision tasks is also a sign of potential problems.


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  • But My Child is Screened at School...

Routine vision testing at schools is a very basic screening test which assesses colour vision, eye alignment and distance vision. This brief test does not look at your child’s eye health or near visual performance; how much effort is required to perform close vision tasks and how well the eyes work together.

New Zealand study shows alarming prevalence of vision problems Problems with close vision may predispose your child to learning difficulties, which in turn can contribute to self esteem and behavioural issues resulting from feelings of inadequacy in the classroom. A large New Zealand study found that undiagnosed and untreated vision problems are contributing to reading failure for many school children.

As many as 70% of high school children with reading problems were found to have undiagnosed vision problems. In one Rotorua high school 24% of all the children in year nine were adversely affected by vision problems. When you consider that 80% of our learning is visual, it’s easy to see how disruptive vision problems can be for school aged children. Behavioural issues and ADHD diagnoses are a challenge for far too many New Zealand children.

Undiagnosed vision problems can contribute to such issues. If your child has had a school screening eye test and been pronounced ‘healthy’ and yet they are struggling with learning disability, dyslexia or similar issues, or behavioural problems, it is vital that they are examined by an optometrist for more complex vision problems that may be contributing to their difficulties.


  • When Should My Child See an Optometrist?

The most common reason a child would need to visit an optometrist is for visual problems. The earlier any vision problems are detected and corrected the better – both for the health of your child’s eyes and also because being able to see well is fundamental to education.

Signs your child may be experiencing visual problems include:Boy Squinting

- Trouble with school work – not seeing the board at front of the class
- Sitting close to the television
- Not being able to see things in the distance
- Sore eyes
- Rubbing their eyes
- Slow reading or having to use a finger to guide their reading
- Closing one eye when reading
- Headaches and dizziness
- Excessive blinking

 


  • The New Zealand Association of Optometrists Recommend Children Have Their Eyes Tested

- At 6 – 12 months
- At 2 – 3 years
- Before starting primary school
- Later if they seem to be suffering from sight issues

An eye test every two years is recommended for adults, unless there are other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of eye problems – when visits should be made more frequently.

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