Sixty per cent of ‘problem learners’ suffer poor vision

June 26, 2016


Sixty per cent of children who are ‘problem learners’ have been found to suffer from undetected vision problems, warns Nedlands optometrist Damon Ezekiel who is encouraging all parents to have their children’s eyes tested.

Undetected vision problems are estimated to affect approximately one in four Australian children – or 600,000 nationally – which may contribute to potential learning difficulties in reading, writing, viewing a whiteboard, computer use and other classroom activities.

A recent review undertaken as part of the National Children’s Vision Screening Project reported most children with academic or behavioural problems fail one or more visual tests.

According to Damon, “Vision plays a significant part in the learning process for a child and there’s a definite link between vision impairment and educational outcomes.”

“We all rely on good vision to see clearly and sharply. Vision problems can make learning difficult and stressful and prevent children from achieving their full potential.

“Parents and teachers should watch for signs that a child may have a vision problem, including avoidance of reading and writing, lower comprehension and short attention span. These are sometimes incorrectly suspected as the outcomes of learning disabilities such as dyslexia or attention deficits,” said Damon.

“Most importantly, the common vision problems among school-aged children can with early detection be easily managed or corrected by an optometrist.”

Optometry Australia recommends that children have a full eye examination with an optometrist before starting school and regularly thereafter. Eye examinations attract a Medicare rebate and no referral is required.

Five performance issues that may indicate your child has a vision problem:
1. Skipping or re-reading lines
2. Omitting or confusing words when reading
3. Poor comprehension when reading
4. Homework taking much longer than it should
5. Short attention span with reading and school work

Other signs to look out for include:
• One eye turns in or out while the other points straight ahead
• Frequent blinking
• Red or watery eyes
• Covering or closing one eye
• Holding a book very close to read
• Squinting or sitting very close when watching television
• Complaints of headaches
• Complaints of blurred or double vision

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online


In addition to owning and managing Ezekiel Eyes, Damon is a contact lens consultant to various research organisations. He regularly lectures and conducts workshops in contact lens practice throughout Australia, Asia and the United States. Damon graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Optometry in 1989. He is now married with two children and enjoys running, hockey, swimming, piano, travelling and trekking.

Damon’s professional associations include:
President of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists
Practising Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society
Fellow of the Cornea & Contact Lens Society of Australia
Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry
Member of Optometry Australia
Member of the Orthokeratology Society of Australia
Member of Alcon Australia advisory panel