Eyes on student health

CHECK UP: Optometrist Hannah Stanley tests the eyesight of a Memorial Oval Primary School student.

CHECK UP: Optometrist Hannah Stanley tests the eyesight of a Memorial Oval Primary School student.

Just over half of students at Memorial Oval Primary School took up the opportunity to have their vision checked by Eyre Eye Centre over the past three weeks.

The tresting helps diagnose certain eye conditions which may impair students' learning ability such as short and long sightedness.

One in five children in Australia have an undetected vision problem, and a number of students checked at MOPS have since attended the Eyre Eye Centre to be fitted with glasses.

Optometrist Hannah Stanley was at MOPS today to check students' vision by looking at how their eyes focus, how they move, and their depth perception.

"3D vision is one of the most important things for kids because it's something you can only develop while you are young," she said.

"You want your eyes to be working together. If one eye is out of focus or lazy that means it will shut off and it wont develop properly."

Ms Stanley said students that were long-sighted, meaning they have to focus very hard to see objects from a distance, would have their eyes get fatigued quickly.

"Their eyes get blurry so they can often avoid doing work and instead focus on distractions," she said.

MOPS Principal Brett Spangerberg said students could often 'act up' in class because their eye condition was preventing them from engaging with their work.

"It's amazing that when you correct those problems with eyesight you can see a change in behavior. They can function at a higher level and be more engaged," he said.

"Sometimes we see that behavior and think it's just a naughty child. But as educators we're getting better at realising that behavior is a communication and the child is really telling us that something is wrong through that."