The new school year is a perfect time to get your children’s eyes tested. Did you know that one out of every 20 pre-school children has vision problems, and that number grows to one out of four (25 percent) by the time kids start school? For school-aged children, uncorrected vision problems can have a negative impact on learning and school grades, so it’s important to see to the matter!
The most common vision problems in school-aged children are myopia (difficulty seeing far), hyperopia (difficulty seeing close), astigmatism (a malformation of the cornea that causes blurred vision), strabismus (“crossed eyes”) and amblyopia (“lazy eye,” decreased vision in a single eye).
If your child mentions problems with blurred vision or shows signs of a vision disturbance (squinting to see better, headaches, especially in the evening, not seeing details that you can see, discomfort or difficulty reading, red or runny eyes, etc.), you should promptly make an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for your child to get an eye exam.
Many children don’t complain about their vision problems and some even develop ways to adapt to them. This is why it is recommended that all children undergo an eye exam before starting kindergarten, and then regularly afterwards, according to their eye health. In Quebec, eye exams are covered by the RAMQ until the age of 17.
If a child needs eyeglasses, it’s important to keep them in good shape and to change them any time there are any vision changes. In addition to correcting vision errors, poorly adjusted eyeglasses and contact lenses can cause discomfort and headaches.
Make sure to see to eye health!