Children should have their first Vision Analysis at 6 months of age. Instrumentation and trained observation makes it possible to determine whether there are any genetic visual complications at an early age. Their first Eye Exam should be at age 3, and this should be their first comprehensive eye exam.
Early detection and correction of visual problems can help reduce and even eliminate vision complications such as a lazy eye. Even today young children present themselves to our office with a vision problem that should have been attended to at a much earlier age. We cannot stress enough the importance of children entering Grade One to have a comprehensive Eye Exam.
Vision is more than whether a child requires glasses. Many children have good visual acuity but have delayed vision development and visual perception problems. This may hamper their learning to read at the appropriate level. A child may then feel inadequate, and this may affect their self esteem which will undoubtedly lead to other behavioural problems.
Here at Nowlan and Moore we are professionally trained to detect delays in children's vision development and are able to prescribe Vision Therapy Procedures to enhance the visual skill development so we can get the child back to learning at the appropriate level.
Many children in my practice have been helped with these procedures. As children get older, numerous times they suddenly have complaints of being unable to see the overhead or blackboard. They have become nearsighted. This situation is often solved by prescribing lenses to enhance the distant vision. Unfortunately, the lens prescribed to see the overhead can actually strain the vision at the near point, so that often the child within one year requires a stronger prescription as once again the distance vision becomes blurry. This may re-occur year after year so the young adult is wearing “coke-bottle lenses” by age 16.
This can all be alleviated at the beginning by prescribing invisible bifocals so that the child when looking at his or her notebook while copying the board is actually looking through zero prescription and thus not straining the eyes. Also, if the near point strain can be detected before there are symptoms of distant blur, lenses can be prescribed to avoid a problem in the future. They will outgrow the near vision problem and maintain their perfect vision when older. Then they won’t require glasses.
All can be prevented with early detection. Studies show that 80% of children’s eyes do not become more nearsighted as long as the glasses are updated periodically to make up for growth and precise measurements so that the child is looking through the centre of the invisible bifocal.