Statistics show that as many as 1 in every 4 kids have some type of vision problems. It might be easy for an adult to realise they can’t see so well, but children sometimes do not realise things could be looking clearer. As some refractive errors develop gradually this makes it even more difficult for them to notice this.
What signs to look for
• Sitting too close to the television or holding near work too close to the eyes. (This could indicate that the child is short-sighted or seeing things blurry)
• Tilting of the head or covering one eye when looking at things. (This could be a sign of a misaligned eye or a lazy eye)
• Headaches. (Especially if it is later in the day, or after they have been reading or colouring in)
• Squinting of eyes. (This could be a sign of poor vision or a refractive error)
• Difficulty seeing in low light situations.
• Rubbing eyes excessively or eye fatigue.
• Difficulty concentrating on school work.
When to have your child’s eyes tested
• 6 months of age
• Before they start school, and then yearly after that.
• Or when you notice any of the signs above.
Why it is important to have an eye test done
While most people think we only test the Visual Acuity (sharpness of vision) during an eye test, it is also very important to do a test as we also assess:
• The general health of the eye (front and back of the eye)
• Depth perception
• Colour vision
• Alignment of the eyes or the presence of squints
The visual system in children is still developing during the first seven to eight years of their life. In some cases glasses or eye exercises are needed for the normal visual development.