The move from kindergarten to Grade I is an exciting moment both for the child and the parents. Alongside the excitement and preparations, it is important that the child undergo a comprehensive eye examination prior to the beginning of the academic year. Specialists in the Ophthalmology Unit at Schneider Children’s headed by Prof. Moshe Snir notes that healthy eyes and proper vision play a significant role in the child’s ability to read and study, and therefore recommend eye and vision tests prior to the start of the academic year.
Different problems with vision can cause the child to have headaches and double vision that can lead to errors in copying from the board and interfere with the child’s success and assimilation within the educational framework.
Each child should undergo an eye test even if he does not complain about any visual difficulty or his parents are unaware of anything amiss, because diagnosis of any problem at this stage can prevent problems with the development of vision prior to his entering Grade I. The test is particularly important should there be family history of eye disorders in childhood, such as lazy eye, squinting, or wearing glasses at an early age. Eye examinations are not painful or uncomfortable for the child.
An eye-test examines sharpness of long-sighted vision and where possible, also short-sightedness. Sharpness of vision is conducted with the help of numbers, letters, drawings and shapes according to the child’s willingness and ability. Eye movement is also checked, as well as an assessment done for squinting for both long- and short-sighted vision. In addition, depth of vision (3-D) is assessed, both merging and source. The test also includes a physical examination of the eye orbit.
A crucial part of an eye and vision test is performed after drops have been inserted to dilate the pupils, which may cause the child slight discomfort. Once the pupils have dilated, the eye’s structure at the rear and the eye’s optics (short vision, long vision, cylinder, differences between the eyes and so on) are examined.
An overall assessment of normal sight and vision may be obtained from all the tests. In the event of any disorder, appropriate treatment is recommended.