Pediatric Eye Care

Children are our most precious asset and leaders of the future. Experts report that 80% of learning is visual, however, most children will not verbalize that they cannot see well. Poor vision is simply an unnecessary barrier to learning.Very early detection and treatment of poor vision in children is important for visual development. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends children have their eyes examined in:

  • The first year of life then,
  • Before starting pre-school and,
  • Each year thereafter.

Children's eye examinations are covered by OHIP until 19 years of age. Our optometrists have completed residency (post-doctoral) training programs in pediatric optometry and binocular vision.

Common vision problems in children:

Functional Vision Assessment

Having 20/20 vision in each eye alone is not enough for comfortable and functional vision. Our optometrists offer functional vision assessments which evaluate how patients use their day-to-day vision skills. Functional vision focuses on how the patient can see, how the patient uses the two eyes together (eye teaming) and the efficiency of their visual system. Our optometrists can make recommendations that can help caregivers and educators understand the extent of the patient’s visual abilities, even if the patient is non-verbal, and make appropriate modifications.Children with certain types of disabilities may be at greater risk for vision problems and should be thoroughly assessed with a functional vision assessment.

Vision Therapy

Nearly 10% of children suffer from eye conditions such as lazy or crossed eyes, eye coordination difficulty or even damage to the eye tissue. However, the symptoms associated with these conditions are not readily recognizable and most children will not verbalize that they are struggling. Common symptoms include:

  • Avoidance of near work
  • Difficulty reading or poor comprehension
  • Skipping words or letters when reading or copying off the board
  • Symbol or word reversals
  • Headaches or eyestrain
  • Short attention span
  • Double vision
  • Closing one eye
  • Excessive blinking
  • Behavioral problems

A binocular vision assessment can identifysuch eye conditions andallow optometrists to intervene with vision therapy. Unlike traditional techniques, modern day vision therapy looks beyond the eyeballs to understand how vision works with the rest of the body. Various methods such as free space orthoptics or computerized orthoptics may be used to improve vision and visual function.Our optometrists will design a custom eye exercise program for your childto improve how their eyes work together. Our programs are solely rooted in evidence-based, scientific research. Vision therapy can improve the following eye conditions:

  • Eye focusing, or accommodativedysfunction
  • Lazy eye, or amblyopia
  • Eye teaming, or binocular dysfunction, including vergence dysfunctions
  • Eye tracking, or oculomotor dysfunction
  • Double vision, or diplopia
  • Strabismus (either eye turns in, out, up or down)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Concussion or stroke

Vision therapy is not exclusive to children. Often after concussions, strokes or accidents, patients will suffer from double vision or from other changes in their vision. Our optometrists can assess patients with these symptoms and provide treatment options to improve the visual comfort.