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gastwo | 07:51 Sun 18th Jun 2006 | Parenting
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How does an optician determine a small childs eyesight deficiency if the child is too young to give logical answers?

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When my little one went for an opthalmologist's appointment following a trauma to his head, I asked the same question. They told me they look at things like the speed of movement, how far they will follow a moving object, how well they focus on an object being moved towards and then away from their face, look for any obvious squinting and/or laziness in both eyes, and watch reactions when different objects are passed in front of their eyes.

The opthalmologist had pieces of white cardboard with black line drawings on them in various thicknesses, and pieces of black cardboard with the same in white. The drawings were in different positions on the card, so when she held them up she was looking to see which direction he looked in - i.e. if he had 'noticed' the drawing on the card.
my daughter has been wearing glasses for short-sight and astigmatism since she was 2. The prescription for the glasses was worked out by putting eye drops into her eyes, the optician then looks into the eye and can figure acurately the prescription, her eyes were light sensitive for the rest of the day from the drops. She is nearly seven and has just had her first eye test without drops where she was able to articulate which letters she could see for herself.

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