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Are challenges in school related to your child’s vision?

We are now a month into the new school year. WOW time goes fast! This is about the time we start seeing kids realize that things are not as easy as they should be in school. We see homework taking longer, eyes feeling strained or blurry, avoidance of reading or quitting early because “they don’t want to read”. Often these can be subtle warning signs that their eyes need help.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) estimates that as many as 25% of all school-age children have vision problems. Many mistakenly feel the “school screenings” will catch any of these problems; however they often don’t. Screenings may catch a child that can’t see far away (nearsighted), such as the board. Many children have other eye concerns other than nearsighted, often missed by a simple acuity check. In a full eye exam here at Tooele Vision Center we check:

  • Near vision
  • Distance vision
  • Binocular (two eyes) coordination (depth perception)
  • Eye movement skills
  • Focusing skills
  • Peripheral awareness (visual field testing)
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Color vision
  • Health of the eye (we take a picture of the inside of the eye & look at every structure)

 

When scheduling an eye exam for your child, choose a time when he or she usually is alert and happy. We love children and are concerned that their vision isn’t optimal in order to perform the absolute best in school this year. Even if you don’t suspect any concerns we strongly recommend a “baseline” eye exam to make sure everything is functioning ideally.

A few other things that we would want to be aware of and something parents should watch for include:

  • A history of prematurity
  • Delayed motor development
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Excessive blinking
  • Failure to maintain eye contact
  • Inability to maintain a gaze (fixation) while looking at objects
  • Poor eye tracking skills

These may indicate a concern of astigmatism, farsighted, amblyopia (lazy eye), allergies, eye irritation such as dry eyes, or focusing insufficiency.

We look forward to seeing you and your family as we begin this new school year!! Let us give our children every opportunity to succeed!

Dr. Winder