Information for Parents:

Children need to "learn" good vision. The eyes, optical nerves and brain are there but the interaction needs to be trained in much the same way we learn to speak and walk. What a child sees is difficult to know. In the first years of life vision disorders can prevent appropriate development of vision and may lead to Amblyopia, i.e. a lazy eye. Amblyopia is a lifelong vision impairment that cannot be treated after childhood. Only through early detection and treatment it be prevented.

Why do we screen children?

*  Vision problems affect one in four school-aged children and one in twenty preschoolers.

* Vision disorders are the most common handicapping condition of childhood.

 * 80% of what a child learns in their first 12 years is visually acquired.

* Vision issues often go undetected because there is no pain involved with vision disorders and young children are not aware that the way they see is not normal.

How do children learn to see?

Seeing is a two step process, first is the picture acquisition by the eyes and then the picture processing by the brain. The co-operation of eyes and brain needs to be trained in order to develop the optical nerve’s connection. To develop normal binocular vision this training has to take place during the first years of life. If vision disorders are not treated, then this learning process is interrupted and normal binocular vision will never be established. This medical condition is called Amblyopia (also known as "lazy eye"). Amblyopia cannot be treated after childhood and cannot be corrected with glasses or contacts. 

When is vision screening recommended?

Every child that is not already treated by an eye care professional should participate in vision screening regularly. The first vision screening should be performed around the first birthday. Vision screening should be repeated regularly for the eyes change with growth and new vision disorders may occur at any time. 

How we screen for eye disorders:

A Plusoptix vision screening device provides reliable and objective screening results. An objective screening result is not biased by interpretation of the person performing the screening nor by poor cooperation of the child. Measurements are performed from 3.3 feet (1 meter) away. One second after establishing visual contact, the measurement is complete. An age dependent "pass" or "refer" screening result is provided immediately. A “refer” result indicates your child should see an eye care professional for a comprehensive exam. A “pass” result indicates eye health is good for now, but retest regularly as the eyes change with growth.

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