The month of August can be a very busy time for most families with back to school shopping for supply lists and clothing as well as planning for fall sports and an endless variety of after school activities. But it’s just as important for your children to have their comprehensive eye exams before the start of the school year!

A vision screening is not the same as a comprehensive eye health examination. Some schools provide periodic vision screenings for their students. A pediatrician or other primary care physician may also do a vision screening as part of a school physical. While vision screenings can detect some vision problems, they can often miss more than they find. Such screenings sometimes create a false sense of security for people who “pass” the screening, but who actually have a vision problem, thereby delaying further examination and treatment. This is a major concern, and it’s why we recommend your child receives a comprehensive eye exam annually.

As our children head back to school, we may notice that our child appears to have difficulty with his or her studies. Many school performance issues can actually be linked to poor vision in school aged children. When you read something or look at something held in your hand, your eyes need to turn inward together (or converge) in order to focus. This muscle motion activates your binocular vision, enabling you to see a single image that is close up. When these muscles aren’t working together properly, a convergence insufficiency can result in your child having difficulty reading and showing a reluctance to participate in classroom activities. Convergence insufficiency is among the most common types of eye muscle dysfunctions.

It is estimated that 10 percent of school-aged children have undiagnosed visual problems and are likely suffering academically as a result. Of course, not all learning problems are related to eyesight, but many are, so analysis of the visual system is an important step in determining the source of any learning disabilities. To learn more about the link between school performance and undiagnosed vision problems in children, click here.

A comprehensive eye health and vision examination includes:

  1. Patient and family health history
  2. Visual acuity measurement
  3. Preliminary tests of visual function and eye health including depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision and response of the pupils to light
  4. Assessment of refractive status to determine the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism
  5. Evaluation of eye focusing, eye teaming and eye movement abilities
  6. Eye health examination
  7. Additional tests as needed

Time to schedule that comprehensive exam? Click here to request an appointment today.


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