The rapid identification of vision difficulties and a prescription of contact lenses or glasses at an early stage can have a major impact on children"s ability to learn, it has been claimed.
Paula Peachey, from Peachey Optometry Clinic"s Eyecare Plus, said that the number of conditions that affect people"s eyes at all stages of their life are rising, the Border Mail has claimed.
She pointed to the prevalence of ocular diseases including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy as evidence for this trend, but also highlighted the fact that these conditions can affect young people.
"Many eye health problems have no immediately obvious signs or symptoms, as vision loss in many circumstances is gradual, so early diagnosis is critical for optimum care," she explained.
Ms Peachey warned that the rise in eye problems is affecting children and can often lead to problems with the speed of their learning.
She said that developmental functional vision deficit numbers are rising, which can be particularly problematic.
More than four-fifths of a child"s learning takes place through their visual system, meaning problems with the eyes can have a substantial impact on their development.
Ms Peachey said that a basic eye test is not sufficient to detect the full range of potential vision defects, but a more extensive model of testing may be required.
She highlighted the importance that these tests have, citing the ability of children to voluntarily control and use visual inspection for a wide range of different purposes.
Spatial orientation, directing action and the use of feature analysis can all be affected by problems in this area, she claimed.
In turn, these impact on "overall development, the ability to engage with learning and later on the ability to read and to learn".
by Alexa Kaczka