Due to COVID-19, we ask that only necessary visitors accompany our patients during this time.

If you have a mask to cover your mouth and nose, we ask that you wear it at all times during your visit.

If you have any signs of fever, cough, respiratory illness, or GI issues, we will only see you if your symptoms meet our emergency criteria.

Thank you for understanding our efforts to continue caring for you while keeping us all healthy.

alarm-ringing ambulance angle2 archive arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up at-sign baby baby2 bag binoculars book-open book2 bookmark2 bubble calendar-check calendar-empty camera2 cart chart-growth check chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up circle-minus circle city clapboard-play clipboard-empty clipboard-text clock clock2 cloud-download cloud-windy cloud clubs cog cross crown cube youtube diamond4 diamonds drop-crossed drop2 earth ellipsis envelope-open envelope exclamation eye-dropper eye facebook file-empty fire flag2 flare foursquare gift glasses google graph hammer-wrench heart-pulse heart home instagram joystick lamp layers lifebuoy link linkedin list lock magic-wand map-marker map medal-empty menu microscope minus moon mustache-glasses paper-plane paperclip papers pen pencil pie-chart pinterest plus-circle plus power pushpin question rain reading receipt recycle reminder sad shield-check smartphone smile soccer spades speed-medium spotlights star-empty star-half star store sun-glasses sun tag telephone thumbs-down thumbs-up tree tumblr twitter user users wheelchair write yelp youtube

Why Kids Need Eye Exams

What comes to mind when you think of a school nurse’s office?

We’re guessing your list probably includes vinyl recovery beds, jars full of wooden tongue depressors, and the big E eye chart. For over a century and a half, that big E chart (officially called the Snellen chart) has been an excellent diagnostic tool for identifying nearsightedness…but not much else. There are many other ways a child’s vision might not be working properly, which is why it’s so important for kids to get comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist!

The Link Between Vision and Learning

Being able to see clearly and perform visual tasks well is hugely important to a child’s education, social development, and even athletic performance. Up to 80% of learning is visual, with all those whiteboards and textbooks and writing assignments to look at, among many other things.

The Less Obvious Vision Problems

What does the Snellen eye chart miss? Basically any vision problem that isn’t nearsightedness. A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, will also test for farsightedness, astigmatism, color blindness, visual perception, hand-eye coordination, and important binocular vision skills like focusing, tracking, and teaming. Any of these problems can negatively impact learning if they go untreated.

When a Vision Problem Remains Undiagnosed

Unlike adults, children don’t have the vocabulary or understanding to recognize what “good eyesight” is supposed to be like. They only have their own experience to go off of, so if it hurts to focus on close-up work for long, they probably won’t know why. They might believe they’re not smart enough for school. They might, in fact, display a lot of the symptoms common in learning disorders, and without a comprehensive eye exam, there’s a good chance they’ll be misdiagnosed with one.

Recognize the Symptoms of Eye Problems

Some eye problems are easy to spot, such as an eye that points the wrong direction. Other symptoms are more subtle, including reading comprehension problems, difficulty completing schoolwork, a short attention span (particularly for close-up tasks), frequent headaches, a habit of covering one eye, frequent blinking and eye rubbing, and fidgeting.

Give Your Child a Good Start with an Eye Exam

Every child should have a comprehensive eye exam early in their schooling so that any eye problems can be caught and treated quickly. With the new school year starting, this is a great time to schedule an eye exam for your child. We can either rule out or identify any vision problems, even the less obvious ones, and determine the best steps to take next!

We look forward to seeing you and helping you see well!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.