Going back to school means it’s time to focus. But, that’s easier said than done for a child with undetected vision problems.
The majority of eye sight issues present themselves when children are six months to four years old. Since these issues typically occur so early in life, anything a child sees (whether in focus or not) seems normal to them. Vision issues aren’t typically something a child complains about.
Nearly 80% of a child’s learning is estimated to occur through his or her eyes. Undetected vision problems can affect your child’s performance in the classroom and beyond. The earlier a vision problem is detected and treated, the more likely treatment will be successful.
Parents should watch for signs that may indicate a vision problem, including:
- Sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close
- Tilting their head
- Frequently rubbing their eyes
- Short attention span for the child’s age
- Turning of an eye in or out
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding
- Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles and other detailed activities
Parents often incorrectly assume that if a child passes an eye screening at school that there is no vision problem. However, many school screenings only test for distance and visual acuity. A child who scores 20/20 on a vision exam may still have a vision problem. The vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are complex.
We recommend a child receive an eye examination at least once a year even if they have successfully passed a vision screening at school, especially if:
- They show any of the signs or symptoms of a vision problem listed above.
- They are not achieving up to their potential.
- They are minimally able to achieve, but need excessive time and effort to do so.
Optimal vision is essential to learning and life. Many people don’t realize how many problems poor vision can cause. It is important to be aware of your child’s overall eye health and what you can do to protect it.
For more information please visit www.northshoreeyes.com. For an appointment please call one of our four locations in Northeast Ohio: Amherst at 440-455-3090; Avon at 440-653-8091; Sandusky at 419-626-8181; and Avon Lake at 440-455-3080. Follow NorthShore Eye Care on Facebook @northshoreeyecareohio.
American Optometric Association, http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/childrens-vision/school-aged-vision-6-to-18-years-of-age