Kids Vision and Learning

Kids Vision and Learning

Kids Vision and Learning

Kids Vision and Learning

Kids Vision and Learning


Learning actually commences from that first breath of air. Seeing is a passive phenomenon during the first few years of life. The eyes are not fully developed at birth. They need daily stimulation to fully develop. Infants look at big grown-up faces, watch big TVs, and play with oversized toys. However, when a child reaches school age, their visual system becomes an active, integral part of their education.


By themselves, they must learn to control the focus and fixation of their eyes to concentrate on smaller, more precise objects. They must learn to discern the foreground from the background. They must learn how to fuse the two different images from each eye into one unified image. They must also learn to master the skill of eye-hand coordination.


Most children achieve these basic fundamental skills. However, if the visual and ocular motor stimuli sent to the brain are incorrect, then the child is not going to develop properly and parents will sub par performance. Many common visual problems go undetected. The problem is kids don't realize that they're having eye problems. They think the whole world sees and perceives things just as they do. Often, they give us signs of visual distress that we overlook and attribute to other things, such as poor behavior, or lack of interest. Many of them may not even be picked up in visual screenings. It’s imperative to catch and correct any visual anomalies at an early age. That's why it is so important to have your child have a pediatric eye examination at least by age three.


It is natural for your child to feel some apprehension with a new experience. Talk with your child about the examination prior to the visit. Encourage him or her to ask questions. You can assure your child that the examination is completely painless. If there is a family history of eye problems, we recommend for an initial exam as early as 18-24 months. Otherwise, 3-4 yrs would be sufficient. The state passed a law requiring an eye exam prior to entering kindergarten. We suggest to schedule the appointment earlier in the day so that your child will be well-rested.


Our experience and technology enable us to perform an examination without needing any response.

Your child doesn't need to identify letters, numbers, or even pictures during their eye exam. We have their favorite TV shows uploaded on our computer eye charts. Portable, non-intimidating instruments measure the eye prescription and photograph the retina without dilation.


Measuring the eye prescription

MYOPIA (nearsighted)

This is when a child's distance vision is blurry. Common signs of nearsightedness are headaches, squinting, and getting close to everything. Squinting will enable most kids to pass any vision screening. That’s why it is important to have an professional eye examination. The state of Illinois was in agreement as they passed a law requiring all children to have an eye exam before entering kindergarten. We have the technology and skill to be able to get reliable results even if your child is too young or too shy to respond.

HYPEROPIA (farsighted)

Kids with hyperopia can see well at both distance and near. It causes eyestrain and eye fatigue when reading which can lead to poor reading skills and lower school aptitude. Red, watery eyes, lack of interest, headache, poor behavior can all be associated with hyperopia. Unless the condition is moderately severe, it usually goes undetected in screenings. This can be the sole explanation for poor school performance.


Astigmatism occurs when the eye is oval-shaped instead of round, which causes blurred vision at both distance and near. It can also be the reason for headaches, and poor reading and writing skills. These all adversely affect the ability to learn.


In this condition one of the outer 12 eye muscles is not properly aligned and prevents the eyes from working smoothly together, causing stress and premature fatigue. This can have a profound negative effect on learning. All subconscious effort is exerted in keeping the eyes from misaligning and seeing double, instead of comprehending what is being read.


This is due by the inner focusing muscles not working properly causing intermittent blurred close and distance vision. This condition is often corrected with vision therapy. Bifocals are often prescribed. Again, the child may have poor reading and writing skills and a generally negative opinion of school work.

Assessing Eye health with our portable Retina Camera (no dilation)

LAZY EYE (amblyopia)

This is when the vision cannot be corrected to 20/20 even with eyeglasses or contact lenses. It affects about 2 percent of children. With early diagnosis and treatment, permanent vision loss can be avoided. Severe muscle imbalance can lead to STRABISMUS (crossed eye), which can result in LAZY EYE if not detected early.


Any of these conditions along with many others can make close work extremely uncomfortable. Any kind of visual stress can lower reading scores and distort visual perception. Comprehension is lowered because the child's energy is diverted toward the maintenance of clear, single vision rather than comprehending the reading material. Moreover, kids are often scolded and constantly reminded that their work is not up to their potential. This can create a tremendous amount of frustration for the child. In some cases, it can lower self-esteem


To see what it would be like if you had any of these muscle or focusing conditions, try to watch a movie with poor, snowy reception or try reading a book while you are rapidly blinking. You will find yourself not wanting to watch your favorite movie or read your favorite novel because it's uncomfortable and causes eyestrain. Your comprehension and reading skills will decline and the natural reaction is to avoid these tasks that cause excess stress.


  • poor reading comprehension
  • loosing place while reading
  • reading the same paragraph over again
  • poor posture when reading
  • low interest in school work
  • holding a book very close when reading
  • using the finger when reading
  • perceived “I don’t care” attitude
  • avoiding close work
  • periodic wandering eye
  • reversing letters
  • headaches
  • squinting
  • red and/or watering eyes
  • frequent rubbing or blinking of the eyes
  • frequent styes
  • tilting the head to see
  • sitting too close to the TV
  • moving with general awkwardness
  • daydreaming / short tem attention span
  • having poor eye-hand coordination

​​​​​​​If you see your child struggling with any of the above, or school work that seems to be below potential, schedule a Pediatric Eye Examination. It would be upsetting if something so easily corrected was overlooked. Exams can usually be submitted to your medical insurance.


Television viewing habits are an important factor in any discussion of a child's vision. Because television plays a part in almost every child's life, it is essential to develop sensible viewing habits to avoid unnecessary eyestrain. Properly installed and adjusted, televisions and DVDs are safe for the eyes. Below are some helpful tips recommended by the American Optometric Association.

  • TV viewing distance should be at least seven times the width of your TV screen.
  • The room should not be completely dark.
  • Position the television set so that glare and reflections are avoided.
  • Avoid sitting at an extreme angle in relation to the TV screen.
  • TV viewing should be balanced between creative play and exercise.

Near point activities on tablets or cell phone should be limited to 20 min, taking a brake for 20 sec by looking at something far away (20 ft). This is called the 20/20/20 rule.

If you see your child struggling with any of the above, or school work that seems to be below potential, they need to have their eyes professionally examined (not screened). It would be a shame if something so easily corrected was overlooked. Exams can usually be submitted to your medical insurance.

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