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Is your child using her eyes properly?

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At about the age of three, your child would have developed his or her vision to be able to focus on objects for several seconds at a time. You can use the Cover Test to see whether he or she is using both eyes together and properly.{{more}}

Step One: Make your child look at an object that can hold his or her attention. You can use a finger or a colored object if possible with a small light inserted inside.

Step Two: Make sure your child is not focusing on your hand, but rather on the object, and cover one of his or her eyes while you look at the other eye. You have to ask yourself:

Did the uncovered eye move when the cover was put in place?

You should repeat this step a few times to be sure. If your child’s eyes are focused on the object to begin with there will be no need to refocus the eye. In other words, your child’s eyes shouldn’t show any movement of the uncovered eye.

Step Three: Remove the cover and let your child focus on the object with both eyes again.

Step Four: Repeat the same thing with the other eye.

The purpose of this test is to evaluate your child’s ability to use both eyes together properly. If in any way you saw a movement of the uncovered eye when the cover was put into position, you should consult an eye doctor. At this early stage, any dysfunction of using both eyes, what we call binocular dysfunction, should be very easy to rectify.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us.
Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.com
Tel: 784 456-1210

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