Eye Gaze Essentials | Eye care and complex needs

April 1, 2020

Eye care and complex needs

Lisa Donaldson, Lead Clinical Optometrist from SeeAbility discusses eye care and complex needs; the likelihood that a child with complex needs will require ongoing eye care and how an optometrist can assess a child’s eyesight.

Children with complex needs are 28 times more likely than their peers to have a problem with their eyes or vision. That equates to actually half of the population having some kind of visual problem, with between 30 and 40% needing glasses. It’s astounding that up to now there’s been such huge unmet need and the children’s visual needs are so poorly understood.

One of the big barriers is our expectation of a sight test. When, you and I go for an eye test, we expect that we’ll look at a letter chart, read the letters and choose which lens makes things look clear; is it number one, number two? It is quite a fine, difficult choice to make to get a pair of glasses.

Actually, to be able to work out how a child is focusing, all an optometrist needs to be able to do, is shine a light in a child’s eye from arms length. Then, an optometrist can prescribe accurately to correct their focusing error.”

 

Key facts

  • Children with complex needs are 28x more likely than their peers to have a problem with their eyes or vision.
  • Between 30 – 40% of children with complex needs require glasses
  • Up until now the eye care requirements of children with complex needs were poorly understood.
  • An optometrist can find out if a child needs glasses just by shining a light in their eye at arms length.

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