1 in 4 children are failing in school as a direct result of a visual (not eyesight) problem
The visual system is a significant part of how we process information and a key factor in how we learn.
80% of what you perceive, comprehend and remember depends on the efficiency of the visual system.
It is common practice for parents to take their child to the dentist from a young age yet many parents fail to consider their child's eye sight!
A child does not know whether their vision is clear or blurred - they have nothing to compare it a against! It is therefore essential that they undergo and full an thorough eye sight and vision assessment.
BUT SCHOOLS CARRY OUT EYE SCREENINGS DON'T THEY, SO WHY DOES MY CHILD NEED TO SEE AN OPTOMETRIST?
1 in 10 children typically fail school screenings and not all of these will actually need specs. School screenings will typically identify children with a lazy eye, which should already have been identified at an earlier age, or those with a significant need for spectacles.
It is currently estimated that 25% of children are failing in school as a direct result of inadequate visual performance, so "school screening" is not only missing 15 out of a 100 children, but the parents of these children have been told by an "expert" that there is nothing wrong with their child's eyes, which as an Optometrist specialising in the care of children vision, I consider to be a horrifying and totally unacceptable scenario.
Ignorance of the inefficiency of school screening is actually reducing the ability of many children to learn in a speedy efficient way
In addition, school screening ONLY takes place in reception year, and many schools in fact do NOT actually provide this very basic service.
NHS eye tests with an optometrist are Free (funded by the NHS) for all children under 19 (in full time education) and if specs are required, an NHS voucher is issued to help with costs of providing specs
Vision in the "human" animal has developed primarily for hunter gatherer behaviour. Consider how much close work did primitive man need to do..,
make clothes, pick berries, cut up food, make tools, etc, in other words not a lot!
The Demands of modern day living...
Children are made to sit still in chairs at school - children are not physically or physiologically designed for this!
Children are made to do lots of close orientated tasks - a child's visual system is not designed for this!
Which causes STRESS
In order to read a child needs to :-
converge - turn the eyes in to a near point - external eye movement
focus - accurately swap focus between board and desk
fusion - getting the eyes to team up so that the brain "sees and maintains" a single image
accurate movements across a page from word to word - failure to do this can be "seen" as words moving around on the page, or the child missing or rereading words or lines or reading part of a word and guessing the rest
the pupil constricts to improve focusing range
and cognition - the child needs to interpret 2D symbols when their understanding of vision has developed in a 3D world
However stress prevents all these areas of visual processing happening, as a result of which the brain has to divert more energy for near processing to take place, and the brain ends up by shutting down some aspects of visual processing leading to:-