PEDIATRIC EYE CARE

Children are our most precious asset. 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:

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

Nearsightedness (or myopia)

occurs when the length of the eye or the curvature of the cornea (front of eye) is too great, preventing light from focusing on the retina. This leads to distance blur.

Farsightedness (or hyperopia)

occurs when the length of the eye or the curvature of the cornea (front of eye) is less than normal, preventing light from focusing on the retina. This leads to near blur.

Astigmatism

occurs when the cornea (front of the eye) is oblong-shaped instead of round like an orange. This leads to distance and near blur.

Strabismus

is a condition in which the eyes do not line up with one another. In other words, one eye is turned in a direction that is different from the other eye. Under normal conditions, the six muscles that control eye movement work together and point both eyes at the same direction. Eye alignment is critical for clear and comfortable vision.

Binocular and Functional Vision Assessment and Vision Therapy

Having 20/20 vision in each eye alone is not enough for comfortable and functional vision. We offer binocular and 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. Treatment options can vary and may include specialty glasses, vision therapy or a combination of treatments.

What is a Binocular Vision Assessment?

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.

A binocular vision assessment can identify such eye conditions and allow 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 child to improve how their eyes work together. Our programs are solely rooted in evidence-based, scientific research. Vision therapy can improve the following eye conditions:

Binocular and Functional Vision Assessment Quiz

Please answer the following questions about how your eyes feel when reading or doing close work.

Please answer all questions.

Do your eyes feel tired when reading or doing close work?
Do your eyes feel uncomfortable when reading or doing close work?
Do you have headaches when reading or doing close work?
Do you feel sleepy when reading or doing close work?
Do you lose concentration when reading or doing close work?
Do you have trouble remembering what you have read?
Do you have double vision when reading or doing close work?
Do you see the words move, jump, swim or appear to float on the page when reading or doing close work?
Do you feel like you read slowly?
Do your eyes ever hurt when reading or doing close work?
Do your eyes ever feel sore when reading or doing close work?
Do you feel a “pulling” feeling around your eyes when reading or doing close work?
Do you notice the words blurring or coming in and out of focus when reading or doing close work?
Do you lose your place while reading or doing close work?
Do you have to re-read the same line of words when reading?

Adult Vision Therapy

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.

Dr Pabla has trained extensively in diverse areas of eye care, including the treatment and management of ocular diseases, emergency eye care, advanced dry eye treatment, pediatrics and vision therapy.

Dr Pabla completed a Master’s in Vision Science in 2009 while studying and developing grassroots approaches to pediatric eye care delivery in remote, underserved communities in the US and in developing countries. Techniques developed by Dr Pabla are currently in use in schools and nursery centers in Central America.

Continuing her passion in pediatrics, binocular vision and vision therapy, Dr Pabla completed a post-doctoral residency program in Boston, MA. During this residency, Dr Pabla trained at world class institutions such as the New England Medical Center, Boston Medical Center and the Perkin’s School for the Blind. She is currently a member of the Vision Therapy of Canada and trains optometric students interested in vision therapy.

Dr Pabla is actively involved with the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) where she was elected to serve on the Board of Directors. Her involvement with the OAO includes chairing numerous working groups and committees as well as providing mentorship for students interested in the profession. In 2019, Dr Pabla received a Certificate of Appreciation for her contributions to the OAO.

Dr Pabla has also presented research at the American Academy of Optometry and lectured on topics in pediatric eye care at the Ontario Healthy Schools Conference and the Pri-Med Canada conference for family physicians.

Dr Pabla enjoys participating in eye care missions to parts of the world where eye care is scarce or inaccessible. For her volunteer expeditions to Africa, she was given honorary membership to the Woman’s Medical Association of Nigeria.

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