Although this article by the American Optometric Association was released in 2009, its message is still pertinent and important, especially during this time of the year. While parents are getting their kids prepared for a new school year by purchasing supplies and meeting new teachers, it might be easy to overlook their child’s vision. In fact, a shocking 86% of children start school without ever having an eye examination. This is an alarmingly high figure given the strong correlation between vision and learning.
At Bright Eyes, we advise the eye exam schedule that is recommended by the AOA: first eye exam at 6 months, 3 years, and right before school. This allows your eye doctor to identify and treat any vision related problems before they start to adversely affect your child’s learning and development.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the screenings used at school are not designed to replace a full, comprehensive eye exam. These screenings offer very little beyond determining clarity of vision. A full eye examination will further test how well the eyes work together in unison at tasks such as reading and computer work, as well as assess the health of the entire eye, inside and out.
The article also suggests signs for parents to look for in their child’s vision between eye exams. The AOA recommends that parents contact their eye doctor if their child frequently:
- Loses place while reading
- Avoids close work
- Tends to rub eyes
- Has headaches
- Turns or tilts head
- Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
- Uses finger to maintain place when reading
- Omits or confuses small words when reading
- Consistently performs below potential
- Struggles to complete homework
- Squints while reading or watching television
- Has behavioral problems
- Holds reading material closer than normal
So as the school year begins, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s vision, do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment.
All the best,
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.