Regular eye exams are an important aspect of health, especially because vision changes can happen quickly. They are especially important for school age children. Without proper vision correction, children can become very easily frustrated during school and have a difficult time learning.
In fact, about 25 percent of school age children have vision problems. Fortunately, treating eye issues in childhood is simple as long as the problems are detected early. For this reason, a back to school exam for your child can be very beneficial.
Why are eye exams important?
Your child needs a combination of important eye skills in order to learn properly, such as coordination between both eyes, hand eye coordination, focusing skills, near vision, distance vision, and peripheral vision. If just one of these aspects is not up to par, it can make your child very frustrated and can make school much more challenging. Your child be able to learn much better with proper eyesight and eye health.
Children now are using digital devices more than ever before, so eye exams are even more important than they were in the past due to the strain that television, video games, and tablets are placing on developing eyes.
What can I expect from an eye exam?
During an eye exam, your child’s doctor will ask a lot of questions about medical history for your child and for the entire family. You will likely be asked about birth history and any birth complications. Your doctor will perform a general health evaluation and test your child’s vision and eye alignment. He or she will also provide a prescription for eyeglasses if any are needed.
You will need to mention to your doctor if there is a family history of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or lazy eyes. You should also mention any concerns you have about delayed development, rubbing eyes, excessive blinking, poor tracking skills, or any trouble that your child has keeping eye contact.
When should I schedule an eye exam?
Your child’s pediatrician may be the first to notice eye troubles and refer you to a specialist. Keep in mind that even school exams are limited, and you should still take your child to an ophthalmologist for thorough testing.
In general, your child will need an eye exam in early childhood and then when starting school for the first time. If your child does not need any vision correction, they should have back to school exams every two years. However, if your child wears contact lenses or eyeglasses, they will need a back to school exam every year to test how their vision has changed.