Why do children need their eyes tested?

80% of a child's learning comes through what they see, making vision absolutely vital to their development. It's very important to detect any problems with a child's eyes at an early stage to ensure smooth learning and comfortable, clear vision.

Quite often, children may not realise they're having vision problems. Every child should have their eyes tested before they start primary school and then around once a year for any subtle issues that may cause problems with their vision.


What are some signs I should look out for in my child?

There can be many signs that a child may be suffering from vision problems. These may include:

  • Holding books too close or too far to read
  • Difficulty seeing things in the distance including the classroom board
  • Skipping words while reading
  • Reversing letters and words
  • Avoidance of reading and homework
  • Room for improvement or falling behind with school work
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty reading
  • Sore eyes when reading
  • Excessive eye rubbing
  • Covering an eye when trying to watch TV or read
  • Squinting at distant or near objects
  • Tiredness with reading
  • Comprehension issues with reading
  • Concentration issues with reading
  • Any unusual symptoms or concerns

When should my child have their eyes tested?

Children’s vision can be tested at any age, but ideally a formal eye test should be conducted at around three years of age, and then every twelve months while they are at school.

It is also critical that they do a school readiness test before they are about to start primary school to ensure there are no eye issues to hinder their learning. After that, we recommend a recheck for your child’s vision every year if everything is going well.

What happens during an eye test?

During an eye test, one of our experienced optometrists may assess:

  • Your child’s vision
  • Your child’s eye muscle movement - to indicate how well they are using their eyes, including eye coordination and eye focusing
  • Colour vision testing
  • 3D vision (stereopsis) and depth judgment
  • Your child’s eye health

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