Written by: Tincy Thomas, O.D.
Board Certified Optometric Physician
Children require clear, concise vision to be successful in school and extracurricular activities. We use our eyes to read, write, throw a ball, utilize computers, and watch TV. As children advance in school, the demand for clear vision increases because they spend more time reading and learning. Thus, any vision problems should be addressed at an early age to prevent visual and/or learning difficulties.
There are many signs of difficulty with vision that may be more complicated than blurry vision alone. Children may:
- Avoid reading
- Have trouble learning
- Notice that letters float on the page
- Experience double and/or blurry vision
- Rub their eyes
- Experience headaches
- Have trouble focusing
There are many different conditions that can cause the above complaints including:
- Strabismus (Eye turns in or out)
- Amblyopia (Lazy/Underdeveloped Eye)
- Eye Focusing Disorders
- Eye Teaming Disorders
- Eye Tracking Disorders
- Eye-Hand Coordination Disorders
- Visual Perception Disorders
Luckily, if these conditions are diagnosed early, many of these visual problems can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, patching, or vision therapy.
Many parents assume that when a child passes their school screening, they do not have any visual problems. However, school screenings usually only test distance vision, and may not assess other aspects of the eyes including near vision, eye teaming, eye focusing, and eye health through dilation. All of these components of an eye examination are necessary to ensure that a child has the proper vision to learn appropriately. Children’s eyes are constantly changing and developing, and he or she may not even notice when problems start. Visual problems have even been misdiagnosed as learning disabilities and attention deficits. Therefore, if no problems have been noted sooner, the first time a comprehensive eye exam should be completed is at six months of age and continued yearly from age three, unless recommended more frequently by your eye doctor.
At Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida, we strive to provide excellent care for children and adults of all ages. Please contact our office with any questions or concerns.