Vision in the broadest sense, is the global ability of the brain to extract, process and act on information presented to the eye. This complex process can be thought of as three major but related areas: 1. visual acuity, which is largely dependent upon refractive status and eye health; 2. visual efficiency skills, representing eye ocusing, teaming, and tracking skills; and 3. visual information processing, representing the ability to recognize and discriminate visual stimuli and to interpret them correctly based upon previous experience. Every examination we provide for children, regardless of the child's age, has these thoughts in mind.
A comprehensive eye examination will assess the following components:
-Visual acuity measures how clearly a child sees objects.
-Refractive status measures for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism.
-Eye tracking is the ability of the eyes to fixate, smoothly follow and look between objects or printed words.
-Eye focusing is the ability to efficiently change and sustain focus while reading.
-Eye teaming is the ability to coordinate both eyes accurately and without fatigue or excessive effort. This is also important for accurate two-eyed depth perception or stereopsis.
-Eye health problems, including active pathology or congenital anomalies.
Reports have estimated that up to 25% of students in grades K - 6 have vision-related problems, which may contribute to poor school performance. Early detection and management of these problems is recommended to prevent vision loss or eye disease and to promote appropriate vision development. Screenings at school and the pediatrician's office do not evaluate all of these aspects. Call us to schedule a complete eye examination for your child today!
"The American Optometric Association guidelines recommend that all children have a complete vision and eye health examination at the age of 6 months, 3 years, upon entering kindergarten, and routine vision care (every 2 years) thereafter throughout their school years." (http://www.aoa.org)
Although young children may not be able to read an eye chart, specialized procedures have been developed that allow us to measure the clarity of sight of children at almost any age. We are also objectively able to evaluate eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye health. The visual system matures rapidly during the first
few years and it is important to identify any problems that may interfere with normal visual development.
As a service to our community, we are providers for the InfantSee Program. Under this program, Dr. Hillmann will provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment for children between the ages of 6 and 12 months as a no cost public health service.
As part of the visual examination we also assess vision development. Young children use vision to explore the world by identifying and directing movement. If a problem in vision is preventing adequate development of perception and eye-hand coordination skills then early intervention is vital.