Poor eyesight "detrimental to learning"

Poor eyesight "detrimental to learning"

The first few years of a person"s life are vital as far as learning goes, as it is in these formative years that children take in the information that will serve them as adolescents and adults.

As the majority of learning-based tasks involve reading or the ability to see clearly, it is essential that youngsters have good vision to be able to carry them out properly.

However, this is an issue for many children, who are finding that they are struggling to take part in many activities to the best of their ability because of their poor vision – and this is an issue which so often going unnoticed by parents, one expert has warned.

Optometrist Graeme Ochtman, who is based in Morpeth, Northumberland, told the Morpeth Herald that he believes many schoolchildren in the area – and, indeed, across the rest of the UK – are lagging behind in school because they have vision problems that have not been identified.

If caught early, children can be prescribed glasses – or, at a later date, contact lenses - that can enable them to continue in the classroom without any difficulty, but it is vital that parents are on the look-out for when such problems begin to develop, he advised.

He explained that around 80 per cent of everything a child learns is through their eyesight, so, consequently, even a small problem can lead to them suffering certain "developmental setbacks".

Mr Ochtman told the newspaper that this can damage their confidence and also their performance in reading and sports that require hand-eye co-ordination.

"We recommend that children have their first eye examination at around three years old, or as soon as they can match pictures or point at things, as the earlier many common childhood vision problems are discovered the better the chance of correcting them," the expert added.

by Martin Burns

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