Patients and Public


SAOA Optometrists, through their clinical education, training and experience have the means to provide effective primary eye and vision services to children. Vision care and regular eye examinations are essential for children, the earlier the better.

According to the South African Optometric Association (SAOA) early detection of visual problems followed by early intervention in vision care is crucial to achieve normal vision in infants and young children with visual anomalies.

Does your child:

  • Hold a book very close when he/she reads?
  • Tilt his/her head at an extreme angle to the book when reading?
  • Cover one eye when reading?
  • Constantly maintain a poor posture when working close?
  • Move his or her head back and forth while reading instead of moving only eyes?
  • Have a poor attention span?
  • Feel drowsy after prolonged near work?
  • Take longer than it should to do his/her homework?
  • Occasionally or persistently report seeing blurred or double while reading or writing?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above then your child might be having Vision Problems.

  • Vision problems in school-age children very frequently lead to learning problems.
  • 80% of what a child learns in the classroom depends on the efficiency of the visual system. Reading, spelling, writing, chalkboard work and computers are among some of the visual tasks learners tackle all day long at school.
  • Clear vision or eyesight is not the only requirement for successful performance of visual tasks. Scanning, focusing, binocular vision and visual coordination are some of the essential requirements of successful performance of visual tasks.
  • Most of the school screenings programme focus only on the clarity of the vision and not so much on the other visual requirements, thereby leaving so many vision problems in learners undetected. Research indicated that over 10 million children suffer from undetected vision problems due to the lack of appropriate evaluation.
  • Take your child to your nearest SAOA Optometrist for a thorough visual examination.

Health Visual Habits

  • All close-up work should be done at arm distance or slightly further away. This distance is from the midpoint of the third knuckle to the midpoint of the elbow, as measured on the outer side of the folded arm.
  • Make sure your reading material is the same distance away from both eyes.
  • Be aware of the depth of the distance between yourself and the reading matter and also be aware of the objects around you and further from the book.
  • Look up now and again while reading, at a distant target and focus on the detail of this target. (Every 4-5 pages, or every 45 minutes).
  • While reading place a book mark 4 pages further in the book. When you come to this page, stand up., move around and look around 10 minutes. Take a 5 minutes break every 45 minutes, after doing near-version work.
  • Sit up straight. Keep the spine straight while reading or writing. Do not read while lying on your stomach on the floor. When you want to read in bed, sit up in the bed. Do not lie down reading on one side.
  • Make sure the general lighting is efficient and additional light must be used when doing close up-work. This light should be three times stronger than that of the surrounding room.
  • Your book should make an angle of 20° with your desk.
  • Never sit closer than 3-4 meter from the T.V and sit up straight while watching T.V.
  • Avoid reading in a car