Children’s Vision

Children’s Vision

How does a child see?

Every child gets to know the world through their senses. The child then learns to move, communicate, become active, and develop skills. Vision plays the role of the main informant of the brain, since it supplies it with 90% of all the sensory information that reaches it. Vision starts developing after birth. The newborn baby has blurry and colorless vision, and sees only from a short distance, while during infancy – preschool age & school age, vision improves at a fast rate, it becomes colored and detailed. However, it reaches adult levels at the age of 8-9 years.

Consequently, we should remember that:

  • The eyesight of children under 8 years of age significantly differs from that of adults.
  • In the first 9 years of life, each age has its own normal vision scores.
  • A child’s vision should be compared to the normal scores respective to the child’s age only.
  • Refractive errors are observed in all children of preschool age, but only 3% of them need to wear glasses.
  • We supply glasses only to children who cannot see well enough for their age, or can see with difficulty (e.g. squinting, adopting strange head and eye positions, etc.)

What does the phrase “a child has a good eyesight” mean?

It means that the child can see clearly at any distance, that they have the ability to synchronize and move both eyes harmoniously in every direction and, finally, that the child visually perceives where everything is located. It is only then that the child perceives the world visually, without distortions.
All the above require that there is good formation of the ocular system and an even course to attaining its functional maturity.

When should we check children’s eyes?

When the child is still in the maternity ward/clinic, his/hertheir eyes should be checked to assess the development of their ocular system, and to detect any problems, such as congenital cataracts, congenital glaucoma, eye ocular bulb malformations etc. However, because the functioning of the ocular system improves speedily quickly during the first 8-9 years of life, the tests should be repeated, mainly during pre-school years. The second test should be done upon completion of the first year of life, whereby the ocular system can be checked functionally as well: if the child is focusing, watching, squinting or exhibiting some other strange behavior.
Tests should continue during preschool and early school years, with emphasis attention toon the ages of 3 to 6 years.
The purpose of the checks is the monitoring of the normal course of sight development, the early detection of potential problems, and their prompt resolution.
Ophthalmological Eye problems are not rare in childhood. However, some children suffer withpresent higher percentages of ophthalmic eye diseases, such as: premature babies, children with neurological problems, children with syndromes and chronic conditions, children with a family history of ophthalmic eye problems.

Suspicious optical behaviors that should alarm the parents!

In infancy

• If the baby does not look into their eyes after the 2nd month of life

• If the baby holds its head askew when looking

• If, after the 4th month, the baby does not reach out its hand to grip/catch

• If the baby continues to squint after the 3rd month of life

• If the eyes do not look the same (one of them is smaller)

• If the pupil of the eye is white

• If the eyes move in a strange manner

At preschool age

• If the child is not social

• If the child sits close to the TV

• If they rubs their eyes too often
• If it takes too long for the child to walk

• If the child squints

• If they often stumble

• If they hold their head in a strange position, when looking

• If the child avoids activities that involve seeing/watching something at a short distance from the eyes

• If they do not do things (activities) relevant to their age

In school children

• If the child exhibits disturbed attention and concentration

• If the child often complains of headaches

• If they complains of double or blurred vision

• If the child has difficulty in seeing the class blackboard and in watching TV clearly

• If they have difficulties performing school and sports tasks

• If they have another chronic health problem

• If the child avoids activities that involve seeing/watching something at a short distance from the eyes