Children are not little adults as far as the testing parameters go for evaluation of visual function – we need to adapt and modify our testing protocol to meet the needs of the child. Kylie McNeill is our resident paediatric optometrist and has a great approach to functional binocular vision evaluation. Often issues arise from eye teaming and binocular vision dysfunction rather than just a “seeing” problem. We take the time to engage with our paediatric patients and ensure that every effort is taken to give them the best start possible.
At Mark Hinds Optometrists we understand how important vision is to your child’s education and learning. We know that approximately 80% of information we receive is through vision so it’s imperative to ensure your child’s eyes and visual system are working efficiently to give them their best opportunity at learning.
There is much more to VISION than just a measure of sight or visual acuity. Vision is the ability to identify, interpret and understand what is seen, a process that begins developing from birth. Vision is essential for good learning ability, efficient body movements and for both fine and gross motor development.
An eye examination is able to determine whether a child’s visual skills are adequate for the visual demands expected in the school and home learning environments. At Mark Hinds Optometrists, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide a thorough vision assessment for your child to identify potential areas of limitation. Our optometrists will then work with you and your child to strengthen those areas to help your child achieve their best.
A child’s vision assessment can be broken down into 3 main areas outlined below.
Visual acuity is also known as SIGHT and is essentially how well the eyes can see. Blurred vision is generally caused by having a refractive error which means that a prescription for glasses or contact lenses will help the eyes see things more clearly. Refractive error can be broken down into myopia (short-sightedness – making objects at far distances appear blurry), hyperopia (long-sightedness – making objects at close distances appear blurry) or astigmatism (irregular shape of the eye that can cause objects at any distance to appear blurry).
Poor visual acuity can also reflect strabismus (“lazy eye”) or eye diseases or pathology. An examination with one of our experienced optometrists allows us to identify and manage any of these potential concerns. Measuring visual acuity (that is, reading the letters on the chart) is only a small part of the eye test as it only tells us how well the child can see however does not tell how much EFFORT is required to see clearly.
2.Visual Efficiency (eye teaming):
Testing visual efficiency allows us to assess how much EFFORT is required for your child to maintain clear vision for learning. Tracking refers to the movement of the eyes when reading and is controlled by our two eye coordination systems. Our convergence system controls how the eyes turn in or out to look at an object and our accommodation system makes the object we are looking at clear. Poor control of the eye coordination systems results in a lot more effort required to maintain clear vision for daily tasks. Reduced visual efficiency can lead to fatigue, eye strain, headaches, lack of concentration and in some cases, double vision. Poor muscle control can also result in difficulties with visual efficiency however most problems in this area can be corrected with spectacles and/or eye exercises.
3.Ocular Health Assessment
This part of the eye test involves a thorough assessment of the health of the eyes both on the outside and the inside including the optic nerves and macula. The assessment is completely painless and your child will not feel anything as there is no direct contact with the eyes. The ocular health assessment allows us to assess whether any eye diseases or pathology are present. We also have the technology to take a digital image of the retina (inside the eye) to document your child’s eye health to allow for accurate future comparisons should anything change down the track.
Call us on (07) 3358 6566 to book your child’s vision assessment with one of our experienced optometrists today. Any questions you may have please send it to us – firstname.lastname@example.org or make an appointment
Contact Lenses and Kids
We have many children and adolescents wearing contact lenses – from daily disposable contacts to custom made keratoconus designs and new Duette Ultrahealth hybrid lenses from SynergEyes. Ortho-k is very popular with the scientific literature proving to be successful in slowing down and even stopping the progression of short sightedness / myopia. We have many young patients wearing ortho-K lenses with genetic predisposition, asian background, and lifestyle factors leading to progressive myopia. See the below links for more information. Children and contact lenses is a great way to see clearly for sport and an active lifestyle – from just one dollar per lens there are many options
What can we do to help slow down the progression of short-sightedness or myopia? What is myopia control?
see – Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)