Children's Vision

Innovative Eye Care has optometrists at both our Adelaide and Woodville practices which are passionate about improving children’s vision and providing high quality paediatric eye care.

During the early stages of life, the visual system undergoes rapid changes and is the dominant sense which leads to development of perceptual, cognitive and social skills.1 Many vision problems encountered by children are asymptomatic or difficult to recognise.2 A study in 2002 showed that around 25% of primary school-aged children have some form of ocular condition.1 Presently, this number may actually be higher due environmental and lifestyle changes.3 For example with increased urbanisation, less time spent outdoors, increased use of screen-based technology (such as phones and tablets) and increased near vision tasks in younger children has lead to a rising number of shortsightedness in children.4-6 Importantly, un-diagnosed visual problems in children can cause development, social and academic challenges.7

Signs that may indicate that your child has a visual problem include:

  • Complaining of blurred vision at distance or when reading up close
  • Seeing double
  • Words moving on a page
  • Frequent headaches, especially around the eyes or front of head
  • Moving close to page when reading or writing
  • Avoidance of near work tasks
  • Missing or omitting words or lines when reading
  • Reduced attention and distractibility
  • Eyes turning in or out (especially when reading)
  • Excessive eye rubbing

Most schools in Australia offer a form of vision screening which are great tools to detect visual problems. However, most school screenings perform a limited assessment of a child’s visual system such as visual acuity.

The goals of paediatric optometry at Innovative Eye Care are to:

  • Assess the functional status of both eyes and visual system in relation to the specific level of development of the child
  • Evaluate the child’s ocular health and any other related health conditions
  • Educate and counsel parents/caregivers regarding their child’s visual health and formulate recommendations regarding treatment, management or prevention.

A comprehensive eye examination at Innovative Eye Care will assess not only visual acuity but a wide range of components of the visual system including assessment of:

  • Eye focusing strength and flexibility
  • Eye tracking and movement
  • Eye alignment
  • Colour vision assessment
  • Ocular prescription
  • Eye health using advanced imaging technology

Furthermore, we have tools available to detect and treat common visual problems such as:

  • Shortsightedness or myopia
  • Amblyopia
  • Binocular vision problems including eye focusing, turning and tracking and treat with vision therapy
  • Strabismus

Contact us to see one of our friendly optometrists regarding a comprehensive children’s vision assessment

References

  1. Atkinson J. The Developing Visual Brain. Oxford University Press UK; 2002.
  2. Schmidt P, Maguire M, Dobson V, Quinn G, Ciner E, Cyert L, et al. Comparison of preschool vision screening tests as administered by licensed eye care professionals in the Vision In Preschoolers Study. Ophthalmology. 2004 Apr;111(4):637–50.
  3. Vitale S, Sperduto RD, Ferris FL. Increased prevalence of myopia in the United States between 1971-1972 and 1999-2004. Arch Ophthalmol Chic Ill 1960. 2009 Dec;127(12):1632–9.
  4. Ip JM, Rose KA, Morgan IG, Burlutsky G, Mitchell P. Myopia and the urban environment: findings in a sample of 12-year-old Australian school children. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Sep;49(9):3858–63.
  5. Lin Z, Vasudevan B, Jhanji V, Mao GY, Gao TY, Wang FH, et al. Near work, outdoor activity, and their association with refractive error. Optom Vis Sci Off Publ Am Acad Optom. 2014 Apr;91(4):376–82.
  6. Saw SM, Hong RZ, Zhang MZ, Fu ZF, Ye M, Tan D, et al. Near-work activity and myopia in rural and urban schoolchildren in China. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2001 Jun;38(3):149–55.]
  7. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Committee on Public Health Approaches to Reduce Vision Impairment and Promote Eye Health. Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow [Internet]. Welp A, Woodbury RB, McCoy MA, Teutsch SM, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2016 [cited 2019 Dec 19]. (The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health).