It is hard to believe that getting our kids ready to go back to school is something we have to think about in mid-July. However, as school calendars have changed, parents have to plan earlier and earlier for the new school year.
Having your children’s vision checked should be a normal part of “Back to School” planning. Clear vision is essential for good school performance. Too many kids struggle in school due to their inability to see what the teacher is writing on the white board or projecting onto a screen. Vision changes are often so gradual that kids do not report a vision problem to their parents until they hit a significant tipping point. A routine eye examination detects these problems before the student’s performance in school suffers.
Often it is not a child’s distance vision that affects their schoolwork. Children who are farsighted frequently have 20/20 vision on an eye chart, but struggle with reading. For example, farsightedness requires the eyes to work harder to see things up close and impacts a student’s ability to read. The strain leads to headaches or avoidance of reading and close work. Part-time reading glasses (yes, kids may need reading glasses!) can solve this issue.
Another visual problem that can impact your child’s school performance is a muscle imbalance in the eyes. Ideally our eye muscles allow our eyes to point directly at distance and near objects. However, sometimes this is not the case. When the muscles are misaligned, the eyes either drift outward or turn inward when looking at distance or near objects. This misalignment can cause headaches, drowsiness when reading, or difficulty concentrating on what the teacher is presenting in class. The yearly eye examination will reveal if these tendencies are present and if so, can solve them with a glasses prescription.
Some students want to have their eyes checked for a more personal reason this time of year. Many of our young patients are interested in entering the world of contact lens wear. Since it takes a week or two to fit, train, and evaluate a new contact lens wearer, plan ahead so your student can return to school with their “new look.”
Brookside Optometric will always be here for your family’s “Back to School” needs, whether it is to help with distance or near vision clarity, remove eyestrain and headaches when reading, or just to help your child feel confident with their appearance.
In closing, I would also like to let our readers know that each month our office has a community/charitable project to give back to our city. This month we are collecting any extra “back to school supplies” for our local schools. Please feel free to drop off any pencils, pens, paper, backpacks, etc. that you may have, and we will donate them to a school in need. Thank you for your support!