It’s that time of year again that so many parents look forward to – back to school! While your to-do list for the season is already miles long, it’s important to remember to include your child’s annual eye exam as well.
An eye exam is critical for ensuring your child’s success in the classroom. Whether they are starting kindergarten, elementary school, high school or post-secondary education, it’s very important that get an annual eye exam. If there are any problems, it is best that they are diagnosed early to prevent lazy eye or amblyopia which can hinder future vocational choices and so as to not interfere with the learning process. Ensuring clear, comfortable binocular vision will allow your child to perform at their best at school, allowing them to concentrate and have a more efficient and fun learning experience.
The Importance of Eye Health for Children
Children are mostly visual learners, so an ability to see clearly is essential for academic success. What a child learns is 80% dependent on their vision. As children grow, prescriptions can change even in a matter of 6 months. For example, myopia or nearsightedness worsens especially quickly between the ages of 8 and 15. Vision stabilizes in the later teen years, but until this happens, it’s important to see an optometrist annually to make any necessary adjustments in prescriptions. Every comprehensive eye exam we perform includes an ocular health and binocular vision assessment. This is why school vision screenings should not replace an exam done by an optometrist. School screenings were simply meant to alert parents of those children most at risk of vision disability. It should be noted that hyperopia and astigmatism are vision deficiencies that are easily and often missed during school vision screenings.
While a variety of eye problems can be present in children, the most common conditions are myopia or nearsightedness, hyperopia or farsightedness, amblyopia or lazy eye, and astigmatism. An optometrist can identify these conditions with a children’s eye exam as early as six months old.
Unfortunately, many children with vision problems just assume that everyone else sees the same way they do. Generally, until the age of about 10, children won’t complain about seeing poorly. It’s only with a comprehensive vision exam that we can determine that a child is in need of vision correction. 1 in 4 school-aged children have a vision disability that will affect their ability to learn.
Some common symptoms of a vision-related problem are:
- covering one eye or frequently rubbing the eyes
- tilting the head or unusual posture
- using a finger to keep their place when reading
- losing their place while reading or skipping words
- holding reading materials very close to their face
The recommended schedule for eye exams is having the first exam at 6 months of age, this is to determine the infant has normal development of visual function, to rule out causes of amblyopia, and to exam eye health status. Children should then be seen at age 3, and annually thereafter. OHIP covers yearly eye exams up until the age of 20, as well as more often for cases of red eye and trauma.
Contact Dr. Jeff Sciberras for a Children’s Eye Exam Today!
Don’t let your child suffer from poor vision that will adversely affect their learning. To book an eye exam for your child, contact the eye care office Dr. Jeff Sciberras, your trusted source for all of your eye care needs. We are now offering 2 for 1 lenses on children’s eye glasses and enjoy $25 off all frames for children 17 and under. Ensure your child has the best vision possible for school, and life.