A survey conducted by Leger Marketing on Children’s Eye Health in July 2010, reported that 61 per cent of Canadian parents mistakenly believe they would know if their child was having difficulty with their eyesight. However, many serious eye conditions do not have obvious symptoms and some eye diseases only show symptoms when the condition is advanced and difficult to treat. Conditions such as amblyopia or a “lazy eye” need to be addressed when a child is young. Comprehensive eye examinations would result in 51% more children receiving successful treatment for amblyopia by age 10.
As indicated by the Canadian Association of Optometrists evidence based Frequency Guidelines published in Primary Health Care in 2012, Doctors of Optometry recommend infants have their first eye examination between six and nine months of age. Children should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five, and yearly after starting school to ensure optimal vision and development.
It is recommended that children have a thorough eye examination which includes:
- a review of the child’s health and vision history
- Tests for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, color perception, lazy eye, crossed-eyes, eye coordination, depth perception and focusing ability.
- Overall assessment of ocular health