alarm-ringing ambulance angle2 archive arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up at-sign baby baby2 bag binoculars book-open book2 bookmark2 bubble calendar-check calendar-empty camera2 cart chart-growth check chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up circle-minus circle city clapboard-play clipboard-empty clipboard-text clock clock2 cloud-download cloud-windy cloud clubs cog cross crown cube youtube diamond4 diamonds drop-crossed drop2 earth ellipsis envelope-open envelope exclamation eye-dropper eye facebook file-empty fire flag2 flare foursquare gift glasses google graph hammer-wrench heart-pulse heart home instagram joystick lamp layers lifebuoy link linkedin list lock magic-wand map-marker map medal-empty menu microscope minus moon mustache-glasses paper-plane paperclip papers pen pencil pie-chart pinterest plus-circle plus power printer pushpin question rain reading receipt recycle reminder sad shield-check smartphone smile soccer spades speed-medium spotlights star-empty star-half star store sun-glasses sun tag telephone thumbs-down thumbs-up tree tumblr twitter tiktok wechat user users wheelchair write yelp youtube

The Value Of Back-To-School Eye Exams

With school starting up again soon, now is a great time to start thinking about scheduling an eye appointment for your child.

Classroom Vision Problems Are Varied

Experts estimate that 10 percent of preschoolers have a vision problem significant enough to impact learning, and being nearsighted or farsighted aren’t the only problems you can have with your vision. Colorblindness is also common, as is astigmatism, which causes blurred vision at any distance.

These are all issues with the structure of the cornea and lens or with the retina. Even if none of these issues are present, a person could still have trouble seeing effectively if their eyes don’t work together well. Eye teaming, tracking, and focusing are all crucial visual skills for learning, as are hand-eye coordination and visual perception (the ability to mentally process what the eyes see).

[iframe 620 349]

Keep An Eye Out For Common Symptoms 

Children with vision problems are unlikely to tell their teachers and parents because they don’t realize the source of the problem. It’s crucial, therefore, for us adults to watch the children in our care for symptoms such as:

  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Slow to finish schoolwork
  • Short attention span for close work
  • Tendency to fidget and look away from work
  • Frequent headaches
  • Tendency to cover one eye
  • Frequent blinking or eye-rubbing

If several of these symptoms sound a lot like the symptoms of ADHD and dyslexia, that’s no accident. Not being able to focus on close objects or use the eyes together as a team can make it unpleasant and frustrating to try to concentrate on their work. This gives the child the appearance of having a disorder like ADHD. In fact, many children are misdiagnosed as having ADHD when they really just have an undiagnosed vision problem.

Undiagnosed Vision Problems Affect Learning

Up to 80 percent of the learning children do is through their eyes, so having an undiagnosed and untreated vision problem can have far-reaching effects on their education, confidence, and ability to socialize. Unlike adults, kids might not know how to explain what’s wrong. They don’t know how other people see, they just know that even though trying to read words or stay focused on people’s faces is physically uncomfortable, they get in trouble for not doing it.

This frustrating situation leads them to act out and disengage from learning and other people, which is a tragedy. Luckily, however, it’s a tragedy that can be averted with comprehensive eye exams and correct treatment.

Comprehensive Eye Exams Go Beyond 20/20

Unlike the simple screening done by a school nurse, a comprehensive eye exam involves checking for color blindness, eye alignment (teaming), ocular motility (tracking), and depth perception in addition to doing the standard E-chart visual acuity test. We would also check that the structures of your child’s eye look normal and healthy.

We’re Here For You And Your Children

Whether or not you suspect your child has a vision problem, we’d love to see them this summer to make sure their vision is working well or to start planning treatment for a vision problem.

Your family’s vision is our top priority!

Top image by Flickr user Lucélia Ribeiro used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.