October is Children’s Vision Month. Admittedly, I am biased, but I believe that sight is our most cherished sense. We use our eyes more so than we even realize. Unfortunately, approximately 500,000 Canadians are estimated to be living with significant vision loss and every year, 50,000 more Canadians will be added to that list. Almost 75% of vision loss can be treated or prevented, and it all starts by visiting your optometrist regularly.
The somewhat troubling part about children’s vision is that many who are experiencing issues are unaware. Imagine your 4 year old who has just started school. He/she is unable to see what his/her teacher has written on the board, but doesn’t know that he/she should say something. Statistics show that 60% of children with learning disabilities have some form of undiagnosed vision problems and 80% of learning is visual. So, if your child can’t see clearly, chances are they will be delayed in their learning. This can simply be overcome by visiting your local optometrist.
Children under the age of 20 are covered under the provincial healthcare plan for a comprehensive eye exam each year. The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends eye exams starting at 6 months, 3 years and then every year thereafter. It’s also important to know that a vision screening, such as those typically done at school, does not replace a comprehensive eye exam by a Doctor of Optometry. A comprehensive eye exam includes a thorough case history, assessment of visual needs at work/home/school, binocular vision assessment, diagnosis of refractive status (e.g. short-sighted/near-sighted/astigmatism, etc..), eye health check and a neurological assessment of the visual system. Take a minute to call your local optometrist at Vogue Optical and book an eye exam for your children. Their sight is too precious to forget!
For more information, visit http://doctorsofoptometry.ca/the-eye-exam/
Dr. George Hanna is an optometrist in the Mississauga and Oakville areas. He is also a Clinical Instructor in the Ocular Health Clinic at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science.