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Is your child ready to go back to school?

pageImage755970Dr. Gabriela Olivares, August 2014

Your child’s back to school checklist should always include a comprehensive eye exam. Catching eye problems early will help ensure that the visual system can develop normally, providing your child with one of the key components to school success. The American Optometric Association estimates that as much as 80% of learning occurs through your child’s eyes. According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have vision related problems. At such a young age though, children generally do not voice their complaints about their eyes.

Parents should be consistently on the lookout for eye related problems. Sitting too close to the TV, squinting, eyes turning in or out, or the inability to see depth with 3D movies are just a few. Eye teaming problems can be initially caught when you notice your child having difficulty with hand eye coordination tasks.

Many kids are mislabeled as having short attention span or behavioral problems when the real culprit is an undetected vision problem. Some may be wrongly diagnosed with Attention Defect Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) due to the fact that some of these same signs and symptoms occur with visual related problems.

It is important for parents to understand the difference between vision screenings done by a pediatrician or at school verses a comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist. A vision screening is a short examination that may indicate a potential vision problem. Vision screenings are limited and cannot be used to diagnose eye problems. They only indicate the need for further evaluation. Screenings miss as much as 60% of children with vision problems. Therefore, passing a vision screening does not indicate that your child is free of vision related issues.

Our eye doctors at Premier Eye Center are dedicated to making sure your child receives the best care possible. Schedule your appointment at any one of our offices today!