School is back in session!August is not only the start of back to school season but it is also National Children's Vision & Learning Month. This national observance is to help shed light on the critical link between vision and learning. About 80 percent of a child’s learning is visual. Vision is our dominant sense and the primary source for gathering information and therefore, problems with how a child sees can severely affect the way your child learns in school. Many kids who are struggling in school may have vision problems that are not detected during a typical school vision screening, in fact, vision problems are the 4th most prevalent class of disability in the US.
Comprehensive eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. When undetected, a vision problem can often be misdiagnosed as a learning disability. Early detection of vision problems can help a child do better in school and learn more effectively.
Although a child may seem to have 20/20 vision, it doesn’t mean they can see the letters the way they should be.
Most times a vision problem can be corrected with glasses, however, there are other vision related problems like poor eye tracking, “lazy eye” correct term amblyopia, and eye teaming issues that with the help of your Eye Care Provider and possible vision therapy can be treated. The only way to be sure your child can see clearly is a comprehensive vision exam.
A yearly eye exam is always recommended, however, if your child experiences any of the following, please seek an eye exam sooner:
- Short attention span
- Excessive blinking or eye rubbing
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Difficulty remembering what was read
- Holding reading materials close to the face
- Covering one eye
- Red eyes
- Problems at the computer
When it comes to keeping children healthy and ensuring proper childhood development, annual visits to the Eye Doctor is important. Healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to learn and achieve their full academic potential, as well as to play sports and other activities.
A few take home messages:
- 1 in 4 kids has an undetected vision problem.
- Your child’s vision can change without you or your child noticing.
- Undetected vision issues lead to learning problems.
- Poor vision can lead to low confidence in school and sports.
- Schedule children’s eye exams yearly before the start of school to make sure your they are prepared to learn at their best.
xo, Dr. Arian Fartash