Recognition of Near Vision in Children
Our visual systems are amazing and incredibly complex. And yet we persist on trying to rate the quality of vision by just one measurement – sight or visual acuity, as measured by the letters on a distance letter chart. As most people over 40 will tell you, this tells you nothing about their ability to see at near. It is assumed that children can see at near and it is rarely tested as part of sight screenings. And yet problems with near vision in children can impact on how willing they are to read, or how comfortably they can engage in close work.
Washington State in the USA has now mandated for near vision to be included in the state’s vision screening protocols. While screenings don’t pick up every child who might need help, this goes a long way to identifying more children who might be suffering with an undiagnosed vision problem, despite good distance sight.