Eye Screening

I am currently screening children at nursery schools in Boksburg and surrounding areas.

Private screening can be done by appointment at my rooms.

 

EARLY DETECTION OF VISUAL DISORDERS

Child development can be observed by the parents: the first smile, social cooing, sitting, crawling, walking, running, picking up small objects and so on.

BUT

What about your child’s vision? You cannot see through your child’s eyes.

There is no way you can observe what and how your child is seeing.

If there is a problem, the child will not know it, because he/she has no way of comparing what is being seen. To the child all is normal, even though there might be a problem.

 

DOES MY CHILD HAVE A VISUAL DISORDER? – Eye screening can answer this question.

– On average 1 in every 4 five year old children has an undetected visual disorder.

– Visual disorders, unlike many other conditions and diseases, often have no obvious or detectable symptoms.

WHY IS EYE SCREENING IMPORTANT? – It is intended to detect visual disorders early.

– Many visual disorders, if not detected and treated during the first years of life, can lead to permanent visual impairment.

– Neither glasses nor any other visual aid can rectify this.

FROM WHAT AGE IS EYE SCREENING RECOMMENDED? – As early as possible, ideally around the age of one year.

– Earlier screening advised from age 6 months if there is a family history of eye disorders.

– Thereafter regular screening (at least once a year) is recommended as the eyes change with growth, especially during the first 6-7 years of life and visual disorders can arise during this process.

WHY IS AN ORDINARY EYE TEST INSUFFICIENT? – These tests are unable to test refractive errors accurately.

– It can only be administered when the child is able to speak and cooperate during the process for any length of time (around age 7yrs)

– The sooner a visual disorder is detected and treated the greater the probability for success (full visual potential).

WHAT IS INVOLVED DURING THE EYE SCREENING? – Refraction measurement (how the light bends as it passes through the eye) is an important part of eye screening.

– It helps to determine whether the eyes are developing age appropriately – especially infants and toddlers.

– The test is done with a specialised automated screening device (PlusoptiX), providing an accurate reading within just a few seconds.

– The test is done from a distance of 1 metre and is similar to taking a photograph with a camera (no physical contact involved)

– The child sits on the parent’s or teacher’s lap and look at the machine, which produces a computer generated analysis.

– A “pass” or” refer” report is generated and a print out of the report is provided to the parent.

If the result indicates a possible problem, the report can be used as referral letter to the eye specialist for more in-depth testing.

   
SEEING NEEDS TO BE LEARNT – The eyes are the body’s most important sensory organ, receiving 80% of all information.

– Newborns have to learn to see just as much as to walk and speak.

– Every day parents witness progress as their baby learns to move or speak their first words, but how well the child sees remains unknown.

– Two healthy eyes are of critical importance to a child’s wellbeing and development.

– A visual disorder compromises social and scholastic achievements, can be dangerous in traffic and restrict occupational choices later in life.

HOW DO CHILDREN LEARN TO SEE? – Seeing consists of two processes:

      *image acquisition through the eyes and

      * image processing in the brain

– Newborn babies practice the interplay of eyes and brain so the optic nerve and the neural connections between the eyes and the visual cortex and the eye-motor system required for sight can develop.

– The first years are the most important for this connection to allow for healthy binocular vision.

– If visual disorders go undetected during this learning period the damage can be irreversible.

– If the eyes and brain are not trained correctly the child will never achieve his or her full visual faculty.

This visual  impairment is known as Amblyopia (lazy eye)