Is My Toddler Too Young For A VT Evaluation?
A child’s vision changes rapidly as their bodies grow and develop. This is especially evident during the school years when reading, writing, homework, and after-school activities become a part of their normal daily routine.
It’s essential for both parents and teachers to pay close attention to children’s’ vision needs. Certain vision problems can interfere with a child’s learning in school. Refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism are the most common examples of this.
Myopia causes difficulty focusing on objects at a distance, while objects or images that are up close remain normal. Hyperopia is the opposite when close objects appear blurry and things at a distance are clear. Astigmatism is a condition caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea, which results in blurry or distorted vision
When a child’s vision difficulties negatively impact their learning or social interactions, it may be time to try vision therapy.
What Is Vision Therapy?
Vision therapy is a personalized plan of exercises that can improve and strengthen visual functions. Each patient has unique needs and different degrees of visual health, which is why Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD and the team at The Vision Therapy Center at Family Eye Care & Vision Therapy create a customized vision therapy program to get the best results for your child.
Vision therapy is compared to physical therapy, only for the eyes instead of the entire body. The techniques and exercises can teach the eyes to improve specific areas of vision, such as focus, eye teaming, hand-eye coordination, and visual tracking, among other skills. The doctor may include prisms or special eyeglasses to boost the therapy program.
Is Vision Therapy For All Children?
Kids can develop problems with visual perception and clarity that aren’t always detected with a standard vision exam or school screening. In fact, even a child with 20/20 vision can have trouble with visual tasks.
Vision therapy is often done for toddlers and kids between the ages of 3-5, during their early preschool years. Some doctors prefer to wait until the child is around 6-7 years old and in elementary school. Of course, every child is different, and the best way to know if they’re ready for vision therapy is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Michael Orwasky, O.D., FCOVD.
Vision problems such as difficulty tracking, eye coordination, lazy eye, or cross eyes can be diagnosed even in babies.