EYE CHECKS

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHECKING VISION/EYES IN CHILDREN

A child's eyes are their most precious connection to the outside world. Their social interaction, academic performance, engagement in physical activities and their overall development and outlook depend much, on how their eyes see. Children's eyes are very different to those of adults. Firstly, it is in the first decade of life that our vision develops and clear vision entering the eye is needed for our eyes to reach their maximum visual potential.


Many children who have been categorized as under performers, have surprised everyone by vastly improving their academic and physical performance overnight by just optimizing their vision with a simple pair of glasses.


As opposed to 20-30 years ago, with the advent of computers, phones, laptops and tablets, coupled with increased academic demand in the present day, the focus of most children's vision has shifted from distance to near. This has resulted in a higher prevalence of ocular symptoms such as eye strain, blurring of vision, tearing and headaches, which in turn has resulted in more children requiring glasses.


Certain eye conditions are very common in children, affecting up to 30% of children. But children are often too young to express/understand that they have low vision, in one or both eyes. When they are old enough to realize that their vision is low, it's often too late to correct the defect and lifelong reduced vision will persist. This is why early and regular checking of children's eyes and vision is compulsory.


TIMING OF EYE EXAMS IN CHILDREN

  • New borns should be checked for general eye health and any gross abnormality
  • High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.
  • In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened at least once
  • Around age 3 1/2, kids should undergo eye health screenings and visual acuity tests
  • Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment evaluated
  • After age 5, further routine screenings should be done at least every other year at school or the doctor's office, or after the appearance of symptoms such as squinting or frequent headaches.