DETECTING AND DEALING WITH IMPAIRED VISION IN SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN
– by Dr. Maria de Bono Agius, Consultant in Ophthalmology
For kids to do well at school, having good eyesight is essential. Studies have shown that every 1 in 4 children suffer from visual problems and which if left untreated will cause the child to struggle at school.
How can you tell that your child is not seeing well?
You can pick up many signs by just observing your child. Here are some of the signs to look out for:
1) Screwing up their eyes to see something at a distance or even up close
2) Rubbing their eyes constantly
3) Not recognizing objects or people from a certain distance
4) Complaints of headache
5) Not doing well at school
6) Eyes do not appear aligned well.
If your child is showing any of these signs, schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist so as to identify whether vision needs to be improved by means of glasses to correct short or longsightedness +/- astigmatism.
What happens if vision is left uncorrected?
1) High risk of developing a Lazy eye (Amblyopia) – this can only be corrected up till the age of 8. After that the potential for developing good eyesight is lost.
2) Lack of performance in school (particularly where reading and writing are concerned)
3) More risk of accidents (ex crossing the road etc)
4) Not being able to take up certain occupations later on in life (ex airline industry, maritime)