As a parent, there are many things that you can do to keep your child’s eyes healthy. From giving them toys that encourage visual development, to protecting their eyes from harmful UV rays to giving them protective gear when playing sports – there are many ways to help them develop and protect their vision. But the most important thing you can do is to get their eyes checked. It’s really the only way to detect vision problems early that might interfere with learning. To find out all the reasons why your children should get their eyes checked regularly, read on.

Vision Disorders Are Common

Vision disorders are more common than you may think. Studies have shown that a quarter of school-age children have vision disorders. Given that preschoolers are now using computers and portable devices so frequently, more and more children are developing nearsightedness and other vision problems at an early age. Some children are also born with eye problems that can limit development and even cause permanent visual disability.

Vision Problems Affect Learning

If your child can’t read the blackboard or see their teacher clearly, they will likely struggle in school.  Vision and learning go hand in hand. Any vision issue that can affect the eye function and how the brain processes visual information can limit their learning ability. And considering most of what children learn is visual, it’s important to have their eyes checked early to diagnose any deficiencies in their vision skills. 

You Won’t Know Unless You Test Them

Most vision disorders don’t have any obvious signs or symptoms. Most children with vision impairment will have normal-looking eyes and they often don’t know that their vision is being compromised. The only way to know for sure is to have an eye exam done by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. An exam will determine if the eyes are healthy and developing normally. They can test for visual acuity, eye movement, and focusing ability. When should they have their first exam? At 6 months of age. Another exam should be done again at the age of 3 and right before they enter into first grade. Once they have started school, they should have an eye exam at least every two years to check for any vision problems that could impact their school performance and safety. 

Vision Problems Get Worse Over Time

A number of vision problems can progressively get worse over time. For instance, if a lazy eye is not treated, the stronger eye will quickly become the dominant one. The brain will soon start ignoring the images coming from the weaker eye, and the nerve connections will stop developing. The result – overtime full vision loss can occur in the weaker eye. However, this process can be stopped and reversed if caught early.  

They’ll Only Face Increasing Demands

As children grow older, school becomes more challenging. The size of the print in textbooks becomes smaller and the amount of time spent reading and studying greatly increases. Thus, the demands on their eyes increase as they age and they’ll need to depend on their vision function even more to learn and excel. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be treated to ensure your child doesn’t get left behind. 

Set up your child’s next vision exam with us at Laurier Optical. Our in-house exam will test your child’s eye health and offer a treatment plan if an issue is found. Walk-ins welcome or you can visit us online to book an exam today!