Children’s Vision

Between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 New Zealand children have some form of vision problem which, if left untreated, could affect literacy and academic performance. Screening for vision problems in childhood is important because many children, and their parents, may not realise there is anything wrong.  Most childhood vision problems aren’t obvious – the eyes look and feel perfectly normal – but left untreated vision problems can lead to permanent visual loss which may be impossible to correct in adulthood.  Poor vision may limit future career choices such as joining the police force, becoming a pilot or even getting a commercial driver’s licence.  Children’s vison screening helps with the diagnosis of:

  • Refractive error – short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism that require correction with spectacles
  • Amblyopia (‘lazy eye’) – which can lead to permanent vision loss because the eyes and brain are not working together
  • Strabismus (‘turned eye’) – where the two eyes are misaligned.

For all of these conditions early intervention is the key to successful treatment.

Current research

Our researchers

Dr Joanna Black


Prof Steven Dakin

Head of School

Dr Lisa Hamm

Research Fellow

Dr Tina Gao


A/P Rob Jacobs
Dr Nicola Anstice

Honorary Academic
A/P, University of Canberra

Dr Jason Turuwhenua

Senior Research Fellow

Jay South

PhD candidate

Rebecca Findlay

PhD candidate