Vision at Each Stage in Your Family’s Life
Vision is the most precious sense and is involved in nearly every aspects of our lives from only a few months old. Our approach to your family’s vision care is not a one size fits all approach. It is important to understand each family member’s stage in life in relation to visual development, the demands we all place on our visual systems, and the changes in our eye health as we age. We broadly look at:
- Birth to Preschool
- Primary School
- Teenage Years
Birth to Preschool
People are born with the equipment to see, but need to learn how to use what they see. The first two to 3 years of life are when some of the most rapid changes in eye growth and visual development occur.
By six months of age, a baby has started to develop the coordinated use of the two eyes, and is well on the way to starting to use vision to guide exploration of their immediate environment with their hands.
At 6 to 8 months, a babies first eye exam is designed to make sure eye health, visual development and visual milestones are on track. We have the experience and the necessary tools and instruments for a comprehensive visual examination of your baby or toddler.
By three and four years old children are really starting to move and interact with their environment. As they start to build, draw, climb and run, it is a good age to assess where they are in the visual development and path for school readiness.
At this stage, we are able to get a clearer idea of their sight; whether they are lonsighted, shortsighted or have astigmatism; how good the two eyes are co-ordinating; whether there are any signs of amblyopia or lazy eye; and how well they are developing visual-motor integration skills (coordination of visual processing with fine motor skill), to start to get a sense of visual readiness for school in a few years.
We use special symbol based “pre-literate” sight charts and other objective techniques to thoroughly assess your child’s visual development at this stage in life. Contact us to book an assessment.
Most of the school day is visual – With 100% of classroom activities, and 70% of the school day involving visual tasks, the importance of good visual skills might seem obvious for children. You can’t always see a vision problem as not all vision problems result in blurry vision.
Is Good Sight Enough? – Sight based screenings serve an important role in detecting the approximately 4% of children who might have a sight problem due to amblyopia, but it is estimated that close to 20-25% of school aged children have a vision problem, and these are not necessarily just problems with sight. So some of these vision problem are only detected by a full vision examination that covers eye teaming (convergence), focusing, and other visual skills in addition to sight and eye health checks. Contact us to find out more.
The Myopia Epidemic – There is also the growing concern of the myopia epidemic worldwide. More people are developing myopia or shortsight, and at younger ages. This concerns primary school children and teenagers and will be discussed in the section on Teenagers next, alternatively you can visit the page on myopia. Contact us to book an assessment.
Poor vision can impact on concentration and sport. With increased use of devices, teenagers expose themselves to the potential of digital eye strain. Like primary school children, teenagers need to have both their sight and other visual skills comprehensive assessed to make sure a vision problem is not holding them back.
Contact Lenses – While young children can wear contact lenses, it is the teenage years where social concerns and sporting activities may be affected by the need to wear glasses. A wide range of lenses is now available, and we have patient approach to helping people learning how to use contact lenses. Contact us to find out more.
Vision Training – convergence/eye teaming and focusing issues can be treated at any age. These vision problems can impact on learning and concentration, and as children become more engaged in physical sports and they are exposed to increased risk of concussion. Vision training may have a role in treating these difficulties arising from eye teaming issues and concussion.
Contact us to book an assessment.
Parents often put themselves last, but we encounter more vision problems as time goes by. Some of this is life-style based with the increase use of digital devices, resulting digital eye-strain and time spent indoors increasing the chances of dry eye symptoms. Then there is the obvious change in our near vision that occurs past 40 years of age. Some key thing we’d like you to keep in mind with your own eye health and visual welfare:
Glasses – theses are custom made and prescribed devices. There are two components for glasses that work well. By far the most important and often overlooked part is the knowledge base and expertise of the dispensing staff. We insist on well trained dispensing staff, whose role is to provide you with the eye-wear you need to fit your own lifestyle requirements, and not just “sell you” glasses.
The second component for glasses that work, is quality products and preferably fitted right here in Australia.
Comprehensive Vision Care – Vision problems are not just about clarity of sight, and glasses aren’t the only solution to vision problems. To truly understand how good your vision is, we make sure we assess your eye teaming, quality of eye movements, focus, as well as your sight and eye health.
We will also consider what other options, other than just glasses, might be available to you to see your best, and maintain good eye health. This may include vision training, contact lenses, ortho-k, and dry eye treatments. We have access to the necessary instrumentation for the diagnosis of eye disease.