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Vision test for children – information for parents

Dear parents,

our surgery is offering a novel preventive medical eye check-up for a short time. The test is easy to carry out and takes (depends on your child’s cooperation) only a few seconds. Afterwards you will get the result(s) with the detailed data.

Why is a normal vision test not sufficiant?

The earlier a vision disorder is detected and treated, the better it can be treated. Normal visual acuity tests can only be carried out as soon as children can speak. Beyond this, these tests are not capable to reliably diagnose refractive Errors.

Does my child have a vision disorder?

A preventive eye examination can answer this question. On average, almost every fifth child has an undetected vision disorder at the age of four.

This high prevalence is not surprising for vision disorders not having obvious symptoms like other diseases.

Does my child notice its vision disorder?

Affected children do not notice their vision disorder, because they are used to seeing the world with their eyes and have no comparison possibilities.

What is preventive eye examination for?

Preventive eye care serves to detect vision disorders as early as possible. If vision disorders are not detected and treated within the first years of life, they could lead to a permanent vision defect (lazy eye). Neither glasses nor any other vision aid can compensate for a lazy eye, also called amblyopia.

When is preventive eye examination recommended?

Basically, every child who has not already been in ophthalmological treatment should participate in preventive eye care regularly.

The first preventive eye examination should happen as early as possible, preferably before the first birthday. Afterwards it must be repeated regularly, because eyes change with growth and vision disorders can develop anytime.

What is important at the preventive eye examination?

Refraction measurement is an important component of the preventive eye examination. Whether the eyes are developing age-appropiately can already be determined in infants.

Seeing has to be learned!

The eyes are a person’s most important sense organ, because we receive 80% of all information through them. Did you know that newborns need to learn to see just as they need to learn to walk and to speak? Parents watch their children’s progress daily during the first attempts to walk or when the first words are articulated. However, how and what the child sees remains hidden to the Family.

Two healthy eyes are of central significance for your child’s wellbeing because a vision defect resulting from a vision disorder negatively impacts scholastic achievment, increases the danger of accidents in traffic and limits the choice of careers.

How do children learn to see?

Seeing consists of two procedures: image acquisition through the eyes and image processing in the brain. The cooperation of eyes and brain must be trained in order to develop the optical nerve and neural connections between the eyes, visual cortex and eye motor function. In this process, the first years are most important for the development of healthy binocular vision. If vision disorders arise during this time, this learning process can be irreversible defective. Eyes and brain are not correctly trained and the child will never achieve full vision. This is referred to as a lazy eye or amblyopia.

What can I do?

Ask your doctor. He will advise you individually and can carry out a preventive eye examination.

What does health insurance cover?

To save healthcare costs, only some public health insurances in Germany pay for the preventive eye examination. If a vision disorder is diagnosed at the preventive eye examination, public health insurers pay all costs arising from further examination and Treatment.

This test costs 20,–€.

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