It's August and school is right around the corner, and that means the school supply shopping frenzy is about to begin. New clothes, shoes, pencils and book bags are on most students must have lists, but what about an eye exam? Crisp vision is the single most important 'back to school supply' students need for their education, yet it is often the most overlooked.
One in four children having an undiagnosed vision problem, the goal is to educate about the relationship between vision and learning. Did you know there are 17 Visual skills required for academic success and seeing 20/20 is just one of those visual skills.
Trouble in school? Maybe it’s a learning-related vision problem.
If your child has difficulty in school, it’s very possible he/she just can't see the blackboard or the book in front of her. Experts estimate roughly 80% of what a child learns in school is information presented visually, so visual problems are often confused as laziness, a learning disability, or even ADHD. Simply put, if children are unable to see well, they will have a hard time following along and concentrating. This starts the chain reaction of poor performance leading to poor self-esteem and eventually behavior problems.
20/20 is not always a clear answer
Many parents incorrectly assume when their child passes a school vision screening, there is no vision problem. However, a child can have 20/20 vision but still have trouble seeing. Although the most common vision problem is nearsightedness (myopia), some children have trouble with eye focusing, eye tracking, and eye coordination. The only way to be sure your child can see clearly is a comprehensive vision exam.
Common signs of learning-related vision problems
Vision can change frequently during the school year, so keep an eye out for the following between appointments:
- Headaches, particularly eye strain
- 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
Between getting school supplies and new clothes, consider also getting a complete eye exam for your children and get them started off right for the new year.