How early should parents have their children’s eyes tested?
We recommend a routine first eye examination from the age of 4 years for all children, earlier if the parents suspect their child’s eye movements are not co-ordinating well. By 4, most children can at least read numbers on a chart and more children these days can actually read, which allows more accurate measurement of their vision ability.
Fortunately, 90% of four-year-old children have normal test results for their age for chart reading, eye muscle co-ordination and for the health of the internal eyes. Confirming good vision ability before starting school is important because 80% of what children learn is visual.
Did you know that risk factors for children developing poor vision are heavily related to the parent’s vision and eye health because so much is a genetic lottery. If both parents are short sighted (myopic) your child has at least A 70% CHANCE OF BECOMING MYOPIC TOO – the question is at what age will the gene begin to activate the eye growth? To monitor changes, I will usually want to see your child every 1 to 2 years depending on the test results. However, don’t take a chance, thinking that your child will tell you if they can’t see because they don’t realize that they have a problem.
And what if your child is developing increasing myopia (shortsightedness)? That is where I step in to intervene with new therapies centred on Myopia Control. Glasses alone may not give the best outcome for your child.