Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The reason for childhood eye exams

Childhood is the critical time to look after a child's health.  Untreated childhood vision problems are associated with poor social, economic and academic outcomes.  Most vision problems are treatable and are diagnosed during an eye exam with your optometrist. Don't let childhood vision problems grow up to be adult issues.

A 2011 study published in the journal,Pediatrics, found that in addition to refractive errors that can be corrected with glasses such as myopia and astigmatism, ocular disorders like strabismus (eye-turn, cross eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye) that occur in infants, toddlers, and children may present lifelong problems for the child. Strabismus and amblyopia require more intense treatment such as vision therapy or surgery.

Children who become adults with these conditions must adapt and compensate for them. Moreover, vision problems that were present in childhood may continue to plague the patient into adulthood, affecting overall health, self-perception, educational attainment, job choices, and a number of other social factors.

Basically, people with these disorders find it very difficult to do things that people with healthy vision take for granted, like effortlessly understanding visual learning. The fact that 80% of classroom learning happens through our visual system means a child with lazy eye, for example, is at a significant disadvantage in school.

Here is a nice childhood vision infographic by Doctors of Optometry Canada.

Vision and Learning

In honour of Children's vision month, here is a nice infographic from Doctors of Optometry Canada .  To learn more about vision and learning click here.