Before your final summer days get filled up with other back-to-school activities, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for your kids and yourself! Comprehensive eye exams can detect underlying eye conditions and improve your children’s performance at school. You also want to keep your prescription (if you already wear glasses) up-to-date.
Eye exams are often skipped
A survey found that over 50% of parents in the U.S. don’t take their kids for a comprehensive eye exam before going back to school. In the same survey, the majority of respondents agreed that eye exams are important for their kids. So what is preventing parents from taking their kids to the eye doctor? Some might think that vision screenings, sometimes offered at school, are adequate. But vision screenings and eye exams are different and screenings can miss the majority of vision problems. A comprehensive eye exam can include checking for depth perception, color blindness, and eye alignment, in addition to the visual acuity test. Your eye doctor will also check the structure of your child’s eye making sure everything is normal and healthy.
When to take your child for an eye exam
There can be warning signs your child has a vision problem, but even without symptoms or if your child has a low risk of vision problems, the American Optometric Association recommends children receive an eye exam at 6 months of age, 3 years of age, 5 years of age (before first grade), and then every two years or as suggested by your doctor. If your child is at risk, the frequency changes to every year or as recommended. Look for a list of factors that place a child at risk for vision impairment here.
Vision problems can affect learning
Sometimes with kids, vision problems can be misdiagnosed or undetected. There is a link between vision and learning, so making sure they can read the blackboard, their books and their laptops is important. About 80% of learning is through a child’s vision and 60% of students who are labeled as problem learners have an undiagnosed vision problem. Adding eye exams to your priority list will benefit your child and their learning.
Visiting your vision provider is an essential part of your health routine. Take some time to prepare your family for the school year ahead and schedule your eye exams today.