If your back to school ‘to do’ list seems to be growing by the day, then it could be time to mark the really important and grade them in order, right down to nice to do, but no time left.
But keeping in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, making an appointment to have your child’s eyes checked could be in the really important part of your list, especially if there are signs of trouble you might have missed.
Don’t feel bad because most of us generally tend to ignore symptoms until it is nearly too late, but the good news is that approximately 90 percent of vision impairment and blindness is preventable or treatable.
Some of the changes in behaviour you could look out for include:
Sitting close to the TV
Tilting their head
Frequently rubbing their eyes
Short attention span for the child's age
Turning of an eye in or out
Sensitivity to light
Frequently blinking excessively
Holding books close to the face
Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding.
It is estimated that globally 191 million people are vision impaired and 32.4 million are blind. Recent estimates suggest that 80 percent of vision impairment and blindness is avoidable through attention to the importance of eye hygiene and eye health care.
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Definitions of vision impairment and blindness within the NEHS (National Eye Health Survey) suggest that a person with vision impairment (visual acuity < 6/12-6/60) cannot read the letters at six metres on a Snellen Vision Chart that a person with normal vision can read at 12 metres.
A person with blindness (visual acuity < 6/60) cannot read the letters at six metres that a person with normal vision can read at 60 metres.
Along with allergies and asthma, eye disorders are the most common long-term health problems children have, with about one in six 10–14 year olds wearing glasses or contact lenses to correct sight.
Colourblindness (colour vision defects) affects about eight percent of boys, and a much lower .5 percent in girls. Good colour vision is a needed when applying for certain jobs, so detecting problems early can save the child a lot of frustration later.
Eye disorders are one of the most common long-term health problems children have.