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Kids' vision aged 6-12
Posted 3 September 2019
School-aged kids with eye problems are a little easier to spot than toddlers who are suffering from vision issues. They’re beginning to do homework, look at the whiteboard from a distance during their classes and play sports. All of these activities can allow parents and teachers to see some early warning signs.
Health Partners Optometrist, Anh Pahn has a chat to us about how you can help to keep your kids’ eyes healthy and happy.
What are the key changes in kids’ eye health at this age?
“Reading issues are probably the first red flags to eye problems in this age group,” Anh says.
By this time, kids can generally report when their vision is blurry or perhaps if they’re getting headaches after coming home from school.
However, even though kids can communicate more clearly in this age group, parents still need to be on the ball when it comes to their child’s eye health.
Signs there might be a problem with your child’s vision
- Constant eye rubbing
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Poor focusing
- Poor visual tracking (following an object)
- Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes
- Chronic redness of the eyes
- Chronic tearing of the eyes
- A white pupil instead of black
Common eye health related issues in this age group
Anh says Myopia, also known as Shortsightedness is becoming a big health risk to society and it’s being experienced at a younger age than ever before.
“The health risk being of short-sighted has started to kick in at a younger age now, around primary school. Years ago, this condition was mainly seen in the teenage years, ”says Anh.
When parents get their children diagnosed early, Optometrists now have treatments that can slow down that whole process. But, if they’re not prescribed glasses during this period, then they’ll rapidly become short-sighted.
Other eye issues at this age:
- Amblyopia – Also known as ‘lazy eye’, is poor vision in an eye that may look to be normal. If it’s left untreated it can cause irreversible vision loss in the affected eye.
- Strabismus – This is a misalignment of the eyes. They may turn in, out, up, or down.
- Refractive errors – This condition means the shape of the eye doesn’t bend light properly, so images appear blurred.
Anh says colour vision deficiency is also a problem for 10% of boys in this age group. It’s key to get on top of these issues early on, to plan for the future.