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Paediatric

EYE CARE

“80% of learning is visual. Even the smartest students will struggle in the classroom if they have trouble seeing”

Eye test for children to detect vision problems early is the key to proper development and prevention of life long vision issues. 80% of learning is visual, so even the smartest students will struggle in the classroom if they have trouble seeing. An otherwise clever child who has difficulty with reading, writing or focusing on near tasks (due to poor vision) will be labelled as hyperactive, lazy or slow, possibly even misdiagnosed with learning or attention disorders.

Your child’s eyes are rapidly developing in the early years of life so an eye test for children is important to check they are hitting all the vision milestones. From seeing just shapes and large objects up close during infancy to improving visual acuity and hand-eye coordination by 12 months of age. Most kids have an eye test as part of their routine development check-ups with their maternal and child health nurse, paediatrician or family doctor. This kids vision screening is important to alert parents of a possible eye problem like poor distance vision or eye turn but should not take the place of a comprehensive eye test for children.

We recommended having your child’s first detailed eye test with a paediatric optometrist at age 3 and again before starting primary school, this ensures that any eye problems they may have been detected and treated early giving them the best chance at the clear and comfortable vision for life. We can assess and treat vision problems in children. With regular eye exams, you can help your child achieve the best possible vision. Book a kids eye test with our optometrist today.

Common eye conditions in kids
Hyperopia
Hyperopia is a common vision problem, people who are longsighted can see distant objects easily but can experience eye strain and blurry vision when reading or writing. Most children have some degree of hyperopia and this tends to improve as they get older however if the degree of long-sightedness is large enough or children have symptoms glasses may be needed to correct the issue.
Myopia
Myopia or short-sightedness affects the distance vision more than the near. Children with this condition will have trouble seeing the board at school but may still be able to see their school books. It is easily detected during an eye test and can be treated with a simple pair of glasses.
Astigmatism
Astigmatism is common refractive error caused by irregularity in the shape of the cornea (it is oval or cylindrical instead of round or spherical). This results in blurry and distorted vision at all distances. Astigmatism is easily detected during a routine eye test and can be corrected with eyeglasses, it is common to have astigmatism along with hyperopia or myopia.
Amblyopia
Amblyopia or lazy eye is a condition where one eye doesn’t reach normal vision resulting in reliance on the other better eye. It is commonly diagnosed at a young age and can be caused by several conditions including hyperopia or squint (eye turn). The first line of treatment involves prescribing glasses, giving good vision to that eye usually solves the problem. Sometimes further treatment such as patching or blurring of the “good” eye is necessary to force the weaker eye to improve its vision.
Squint
Squint also known as strabismus or eye turn is a misalignment of one or both eyes, the turn can be there constantly or come and go intermittently. If left untreated it can lead to blurry vision, double vision and eventually amblyopia. The treatment involves glasses, vision therapy and in some cases surgery to the muscles controlling the eye movements.
Binocular vision disorders
Binocular vision disorders involve a variety of conditions affecting the way the eyes work together to perform tasks such as fine movements (saccades), teaming (binocularity) and focusing (accommodation). Functional vision requires the eyes to work as a team to do everyday tasks like reading and writing, if this vital function is impaired it can result in headaches, eye strain, blurry or double vision.
What to look out for
Vision problems in kids can be difficult to detect so regular eye test for children is key in early detection and treatment. Here are 10 warning signs your child may need an eye test.

1. Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close

2. Complaining of headaches or tired eyes

3. Losing their place while reading or using the finger to guide their eyes when reading

4. Squinting or tilting the head to see better

5. Frequent eye rubbing

6. Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing

7. Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better

8. Losing focus or falling behind in school.

9. One or both eyes are turning in or out.

10. The pupil is white or grey instead of black (this one requires urgent medical attention).

Book an appointment

Eye tests are bulk billed. That means no out of pocket costs for you with a valid Medicare card. All tests include FREE digital retinal imaging valued at $60. You can even claim your health insurance rebate on the spot.

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