EYECARE FOR CHILDREN
Babies are born with very limited vision. The first few years of life are critical in establishing good binocular vision ( 2 eyes working together as a team) . Many things can interrupt this and because both parents and children would be unaware of many of these problems, it is important to have regular checkups. Age 3 is a good time for an initial eye examination if there has been no previous sign of a problem ( turned eye, clumsiness, squinting etc)
Testing children's vision is painless and usually lots of fun for them! Many parents worry that due to communication problems, children won't be able to give reliable answers. Most of our testing involves "games" which don't require verbal answers. We use different targets at different distances, special lights which can measure the eye in many ways and, from as young as 6 months, we can assess eye health, whether the eyes can see equally, move well together and whether the brain is processing vision normally for their age.
The " big" chair isn't always needed-many examinations for babies and toddlers end up happening on Mum's lap or even on the floor if that's where the child wants to be!
At Panoptic Vision we were the first in Australia to use a children's vision auto refractor. This is a hand-held device that is positioned a meter away from the child and all they need to do is look at the pretty coloured lights for two seconds. A reading of their refractive error ( need for prescription) and other important information regarding exact eye turn amounts is recorded. Technology never replaces traditional testing but sometimes with tired toddlers who were asleep in the car on the way to the appointment- 2 seconds at a time is all you have !
Between age 4 and 8 , not only should children continue to grow out of normal amounts of long sightedness, but enormous amount of visual processing develops. This is why we recommend annual checkups during this time Many vision skills such as vision memory, sequencing, figure ground ( judging the foreground from the background) and visual closure just to name a few, are all improving and are all needed for the complex task of learning to read. Sometimes children have a natural learning style that encourages some but not all of these vision skills to develop equally and so by the time they reach school age, they are not learning to read without compensations. This can lead to a struggle learning to read. There are many internationally used assessments that have been developed to test these skills and to provide developmental ages for each one.
At Panoptic Vision we offer a 90 minute Vision Processing Assessment which allows us to determine a child's visual learning strengths and weaknesses. If there is a problem, we can then offer vision therapy activities to improve those areas.
Older school age children may also find that even after developing good reading skills, they may start to struggle with visual fatigue. Comprehensive assessment of the focussing and eye aiming muscles can determine whether spectacle support and or vision therapy eye excerises can assist. School workloads are unpredictable and sometimes far exceed the comfort levels of eye muscles that were really only designed for hunting and gathering!
HOW WE WORK WITH YOUNGSTERS
VISION & READING
Vision therapy is like going on a guided tour of the amazing world of vision. The vision therapist uses age appropriate, enjoyable tasks to demonstrate and improve specific areas of visual function. READ MORE>
98% percent of all newborns come into the world with normal, healthy eyes. However having normal healthy eyes, does not guarantee that your child is able to efficiently interpret.... READ MORE>
Many people do not realise that it is possible to have excellent 20/20 sight but actually be living with a visual processing issue. Imagine sitting down to read a book and within 30 seconds ..... READ MORE>
EYE FOCUSSING & VISUAL PERCEPTION
We have two eyes and for us to experience comfortable, efficient use of our two eyes, they must first co- ordinate the eye aiming muscles. We need to know “where” to READ MORE>
Eye Movements can be either pursuit ( smooth) or saccades (fast) . Both are important , but accurate fast eye movements are particularly important in reading READ MORE>
Eye focusing involves the accommodation muscles of the eye. These muscles exert pressure on the internal lens which for the first 40 or so years READ MORE>