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Visual Health for Your Child

The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul. Vision is indeed the sense that allows us to engage the most with the world. A study by the Society of Optometrists indicated that most children who were found to have low vision on school entry had not reported anything to their parents as they had no yardstick of normal vision to compare their own perception of the world.

Vision is key to cognitive development and learning. Undetected vision loss may be misdiagnosed as ADHD or dyslexia.

Vision screening may be done through your primary care practitioner but a comprehensive eye exam that identifies eye diseases can only be done through your optometrist.

Currently, comprehensive eye exams are covered by the Ontario government for children and seniors.

In addition, a program called “Eye See, Eye Learn”  can cover the cost of one pair of eyeglasses for a child who qualifies.  Children born after 2014 may qualify for this program.

The Society of Optometrists recommends having an initial eye exam before a child’s first birthday.  Many problems such as “lazy eye” are entirely correctible if caught early.

The society provides an excellent list of signs and symptoms to watch for on their website. In particular, if you notice your child bumping into things, squinting or feeling things to identify them, they may need to be assessed.  Behavioral cues might include restlessness and inability to focus on visual tasks.  This can be misconstrued as attentional difficulty or disruptive behavior.

When our children are born, they are pluripotent: they can do anything and we feel that they can become visionaries.  Let’s ensure that their vision does not hold them back!

For more information check out this resource:

https://www.optom.on.ca/OAO/Patients/Library/Does_my_child_need_an_eye_exam.aspx#important

Dr. Bhooma Bhayana is a family physician in London and the mother of two young men and grandmother of one lovely princess! She continues to find wonder and enjoyment in family practice despite more than 30 years on the job!

 

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