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Back to School Eye Exams

A recent study has shown that 86% of children start school in September without ever having their vision tested at the optometrist. This is a serious issue because if students cannot see correctly, they cannot learn – and a survey by the American Optometric Association showed that one in four students have a visual impairment.Optometrist and American Optometric Association’s learning specialist Dr. Michael Early said in a press release “Because a child’s vision may change frequently, regular eye and vision care is crucial to a student’s classroom success. Unfortunately, most parents are not including eye exams as a part of their child’s back-to-school health check-up.”
The association also stated that 60% of children labelled as problem learners may really have undetected vision problems that are sometimes falsely diagnosed as attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Children are usually expected to have a vision check when they are first starting school and beginning to read. The American Optometric Association suggests that children have their vision assessed when they are 6 months old, again when they are three years old, and once every two years after that. It has been found that treatment is more likely to be successful if the patient is at an early age.
Some signs of visual impairment in children are:
Lack of attention or concentration, day dreaming, they complain about frequent headaches, they have poor handwriting, they skip words while reading or use a finger to follow the words while reading, they become clumsy, they turn or tilt their head when looking at something, they have itchy eyes,they have dry eyes, they blink frequently, or they squint when looking at objects too far from them or too close to them.
If you notice your child is having problems with their vision, arrange for an appointment with an optometrist in your area.
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