When parents start making lists of what has to be done before their children go back to school, it’s a good time to schedule an eye exam, recommends Dr. Ameet Goyal of Rye Eye Associates.
When parents start making lists of what has to be done before their children go back to school, it’s a good time to schedule an eye exam, recommends Dr. Ameet Goyal of Rye Eye Associates. “Along with school supplies, an eye exam is one of the most important things that will help your child perform at his or her best in class,” says Goyal.
In the United States, some 10 million children suffer from undetected vision problems that may cause them to struggle in school. In addition, many children labeled as “problem” learners actually have undiagnosed vision problems. Undetected vision conditions can lead to frustrated students, poor grades, and behavioral issues.
Since children’s eyes develop so rapidly, and they continue to develop until about the age of 7, early detection is essential to correcting potentially permanent vision issues. Most parents are unaware that American Academy of Ophthalmology recommendations call for infants at high risk for eye disease to have a comprehensive examination by an ophthalmologist as soon as medically feasible. All children should have an assessment for eye problems in the newborn period and then at all subsequent routine health supervision visits. School-age children should be evaluated regularly for visual acuity and ocular alignment (approximately every one to two years).
“If a child waits too long to have an eye exam, a correctable visual problem may become permanent,” says Dr. Goyal.
Also, many in-school screenings are limited in scope, while comprehensive eye exams in an ophthalmologist’s office test for visual acuity, color vision, eye alignment, eye health, and chronic diseases.
It’s a good idea to schedule your child’s back-to-school eye exam and help ensure that vision impairment will not adversely affect his or her schoolwork.