With the unofficial “Back To School” season starts looming on the horizon, it’s time to begin thinking about what you need to do to prepare for another school year. A new backpack and school supplies are of course standard. But before you even begin shopping for these classroom staples, it’s important to schedule the most important exam of the back to school season: an eye exam.
Vision loss is an extremely prevalent condition among children. According to Prevent Blindness America, one in four school-age children have vision problems. And just as a child’s body changes rapidly as they grow, their eyes can also change quickly and without warning. Without professional help, this rapid change can make a child’s life extremely difficult - especially in school, where as much as 80% of learning and lectures is based on the ability to see. That’s why understanding the effects and signs of vision problems is critical for parents.
The Effects Of Vision Issues
The effects of vision impairment or loss can be quite far reaching. Of course, any interference with his or her eyesight could impact a child’s ability to engage with their classmates and teacher. Additionally, a child who is unable to see clearly is likely to grow frustrated or even bored in school due to their inability to see a board or read their books or tablets easily. Some children may also act out at home or at school if they’re living with undiagnosed vision problems.
How Eye Exams Help Identify Vision Issues
The best way to ensure that your child does not struggle in school - or to see in general - is to schedule an annual eye exam before they return to the classroom. We especially want to emphasize that an eye exam with a doctor cannot be replaced by any in-school vision tests for children cover their vision needs. These exams, while useful to school staff, are simply not diagnostically capable of catching many varieties of vision problems, including:
- visual alignment disabilities
- Issues with color vision or visual perception
- macular degeneration
- eye diseases that affect the most inner-workings of the eye
A single visit a year with your Everett and Hurite doctor, however, will ensure that your child’s eyes are fully examined for these issues and more. We will make sure that conditions such as lazy eye, and near and farsightedness are all detected as early as possible. And the sooner we identify a developing problem, the sooner we can help your family can take steps to help your child see as clearly as possible for days, months and years to come!
How To Monitor For Vision Issues
Unfortunately, vision issues can develop year-round - so an eye exam does not automatically mean your child’s vision will be 20-20 for another year. Because of this, it’s important to watch for symptoms of potential issues that may develop in the 12 months between these exams. Signs of trouble include:
- Children frequently complaining of headaches, rubbing their eyes, or tilting their heads
- A child often losing their place or backtracking while reading books, tablets, etc.
- Children skipping over words when reading, or squint when reading and/or watching TV
- A frequent failure to complete homework assignments
- A child often holding reading materials or objects extremely close to their eyes
Schedule Your Exam Today
While the summer is associated with “fun” in many houses, completing an eye exam sooner rather than later is the best way to ensure that vision issues are caught and addressed sooner rather than later. Remember, even if your child is not displaying symptoms, an eye exam will guarantee that your child is in the clear before they even enter a classroom. To schedule an appointment, please call our Pittsburgh office at (412) 288-0858, or reach out to another location that is more convenient to you - we’re ready to ensure this new school year is the clearest, best one yet!