One of the challenges we face is assessing the visual acuity of young children who may not be able to tell us what letters they see on the chart. However, thanks to some ingenuity, we have a solution - visual acuity testing with paddles. In this blog post, we'll explore the benefits of using paddles to test the visual acuity of pre-verbal or non-verbal children, and why it's an essential part of a comprehensive eye exam.

What are Visual Acuity Paddles?

Visual acuity paddles are a set of two paddles that we use to assess a child's visual acuity. One paddle is plain gray, and the other has a grating on it. We present the paddles to the child and observe which paddle the child attends to or looks at. This helps us determine whether the child is seeing the grating or the lines, or whether they're identifying it as the same as gray.

How Does Visual Acuity Paddle Testing Work?

Visual acuity testing with paddles involves presenting a set of paddles with progressively smaller lines. The better the child's visual acuity, the better they'll be able to attend to or identify paddles with smaller lines. We will start with larger lines and gradually move to smaller lines to determine the child's visual acuity.

Why is Visual Acuity Testing Important for Pre-Verbal Children?

Visual acuity testing is essential for all children, regardless of age, as it helps detect vision problems that can affect their overall development. Early detection and treatment of vision problems are crucial for pre-verbal children as they are still developing their visual system. If left untreated, vision problems can lead to permanent vision loss and other developmental delays.

Visual acuity testing with paddles is a quick and effective way to assess a child's visual acuity without relying on their ability to read letters. This is particularly useful for young children or others who are non-verbal. By using paddles, we can get an accurate assessment of their visual acuity and identify any potential vision problems.

Visual Conditions in Young Children: What Every Parent Should Know

While visual acuity paddles can help detect a wide range of vision problems, there are a few common issues, also assessed during a pediatric eye exam, that parents should be aware of:

Amblyopia: Also known as "lazy eye," amblyopia occurs when the brain favors one eye over the other, leading to reduced visual acuity in the weaker eye.

Strabismus: Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not align properly, causing double vision or a reduced ability to perceive depth.

Refractive errors: Refractive errors occur when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing correctly on the retina. This can lead to nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism.

Take our online visual skills assessment to help identify if you or your child has a potential visual deficit that may be interfering with success in the classroom, work, or sports.

Visit a Children's Vision eye doctor at an Amplify EyeCare practice near you:


Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare