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Visual Health

Importance of Healthy Vision

Vision has been noted as the “most important sense”. Eighty percent of learning occurs through the eyes. Through vision, children develop hand-eye coordination, depth perception and visual skills that influence their overall healthy growth and development.

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Does your child have a vision problem?

Children with vision problems may not show any signs. In fact, vision problems may be mistaken for attention or learning difficulties.

However, some signs may exist. Be alert for signs and symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision problem:

  • Turning or tilting the head
  • Avoiding books and television
  • Holding objects too close
  • Irritability or short attention span
  • Covering or closing one eye
  • A lack of concentration
  • Squinting, rubbing the eyes, or excessive blinking
  • An eye that consistently turns in or out
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red, itchy or watering eyes
  • Using a finger to maintain place while reading
  • Omitting or confusing small words when reading
  • Performing below their potential
  • Visible frustration or grimacing
  • Headaches

The only way to know for sure if your child has a vision problem is to book regular comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist.

If problems are found early, many conditions can be treated with better outcomes.

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Booking a Comprehensive Eye Exam

An optometrist is a one-stop destination for all things eye health related, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, health information and eyewear products.

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OHIP Covered Exams

Comprehensive eye exams and any required follow-up visits are covered for children 0–19 years of age with a valid Ontario health card. For more information on OHIP coverage for optometry services, visit

How often should children have their eyes checked?

Vision changes rapidly as children grow. The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) recommends that children have their eyes examined at 6 months, 3 years and then yearly after starting school. In addition, if you note any of the signs and symptoms indicated above, have your child seen by an optometrist.

Eye See…Eye Learn® Program

Children attending Junior Kindergarten in an Eye See…Eye Learn® region, can receive one pair of free glasses with an OHIP covered exam, when prescribed by the participating optometrist. For more information, visit