Visual health is important in everyday life. Vision can affect how you learn, work, and communicate with others. Vision problems in kids are concerning, and may cause children to have difficulties in school and activities, including:
- Avoidance of reading and other visual work
- Lack of participation in activities, including sports
- Tiredness, straining to see, and a short attention span
- Lack of understanding on learning topics
Promoting and protecting vision continues over the lifespan. Having good health habits helps to keep the eyes healthy, including:
- Wearing sunglasses when outside
- Taking breaks from screens (such as mobile phone, computer) frequently
- Using protective equipment in hazardous environments
- Using a proper prescription (if glasses or contact lenses are worn)
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Avoiding tobacco
Vision screening can help to detect visual health risks in young children. In Perth County, the local Lions Club provides vision screening to junior and senior kindergarten students in their school.
Vision screening is meant to detect risk factors in children with possible vision problems and to indicate if a child may need further examination with an eye care professional. The screening cannot diagnose a vision or eye health problem so it is not meant to replace a full eye exam with an optometrist. Since a child’s eye health status can change, parents are encouraged to take their children to an optometrist every year for a check-up. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan covers annual eye exams for children until the age of 20.
The Eye See… Eye Learn program provides junior kindergarten children one pair of free glasses through a participating optometrist.