Children’s Eye Care

We all take our eyesight for granted from a very young age, and we assume that our children can see well. However, some eye conditions are present from birth, or develop at a very young age, and to successfully correct them they have to be picked up when the child is as young as possible.

At the very least, all children should be examined before they go to school.

The thing we are looking for is mainly refractive error:

  • Short sighted children will struggle at school to see the blackboard, and may then fall behind educationally;
  • Long sighted children may struggle to see reading material, and will not develop their literacy skills;
  • Children with unequal prescriptions may develop a lazy eye, and possible even a squint, and this will result in very poor binocular vision, and a cosmetically poor appearance.
  • Astigmatism is another potentially big problem, and is probably the most common cause of eyestrain.

Colour vision is also important, and it is quite common for males to have colour vision defects. This mainly impacts on their future careers, as you need to have perfect colour perception to be a pilot, a ships captain, a train driver, and a policeman. The Armed Services also have colour perception requirements for some of their positions.

There are other, rare, but often very serious, conditions that an eye examination will pick up, including retinoblastoma – which is a fairly nasty tumour in the eye, which spreads to the brain if left untreated.

So, it is obvious that good eye health is vital if children are going to develop normally, and we have special tests for testing even babies. There are picture cards, preferential looking tests, 3-D fly tests, and lots of “games” that tell us if the extra-ocular muscles, and stereopsis have all developed appropriately. It is not like an adult test, and we don’t generally ask kids if it better with 1 or 2, etc – so most kids really enjoy getting their eyes tested.