We are Important Too
It is Never to early to have an Eye Test
Looking after your childs eyes is very important. Their eyes are growing and changing from birth to their late teens.
They grow in stages, the biggest changes occurring between birth and 7 years old. Not only is the stucture eye itself developing, but the brain is building its neural connections and visual memory. Problems that begin in this period need to be treated early to ensure correct developement physically, neurlogically and mentally. If the retina is not presented with clear, focussed images, early in life, it is not stimulated to develop the cells that record images. The poor development of the retina is analogous to a camera with a low resolution sensor.
If your child has an eye problem, the earlier it is corrected the better their final standard of vision will be. If not corrected before the age of 7 your childs vision will never be perfect and may affect their education and future life, including learning to drive and some jobs. Even a small visual correction can make a huge difference to your childs education, and are also able to test the effect of colour overlays for children with dyslexia.
The earlier that we see a patient the more we can do to make sure that the eye develops as it should. Most of our patients, adults included, don't show symptoms. When your prescription changes your eyes don't usually hurt, but the gradual loss of sharpness is a real effect. Young children are less aware of these change than adults, as they are still learning to interact with the world around them, and so tend not to complain as they don't know the difference.
Signs to look out for:
Poor hand eye coordination
Slow to develop reading skills
Tripping or bumping into things
Either eye turning inwards of outwards
Lack of red reflex in photos.
Sitting very close to the TV
Poor colouring skills
Short attention span
Tiredness after periods of concentration
It is our role, as healthcare professionsals, to provide all of our patients with, not just the care they need today, but the care they need to protect their vision for their lifetime.
We would normally start testing children at about two, but our youngest patient to date was three months old.