October is Children’s Vision Month and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Optometrists would like to remind you about the importance of regular comprehensive examinations for children of all ages.
A healthy functioning visual system affects every aspect of a child’s development and learning. A vision screening during a pre-school check up is only able to identify a limited number of vision issues. There are many other visual impediments to learning that cannot be identified through a screening alone.
Children with visual problems may pass a screening test but still struggle with vision. In addition to fully assessing a child’s ability to see, Optometrists are primary eye healthcare professionals who are extensively trained in detecting and managing ocular disease. A comprehensive eye examination is not only an assessment of vision but a through exam of eye health.
One in four school age children have visual problems and 60% of children with reading difficulties have undetected or uncorrected vision problems. When you consider that up to 80% of learning is dependent on vision, the importance of maintaining a healthy visual system becomes clear.
It is recommended that children have their first eye exam at the age of 6 months, at age three, age 5 (prior to entry to kindergarten) and annually thereafter.