School is back! And it’s time to make sure your child can learn by making sure they can see well. Many kids who do not do well in school often need glasses to improve their vision in order to help them see the classroom board or to decrease eyestrain while reading.
If a child has a difficult time learning in school, is unable to comprehend material, or has a short attention span, it could possibly be the result of a vision problem. Before any child is diagnosed with a learning disability, he/she is required to get an eye exam first.
Here are some common vision problems:
Most children volunteer that they need glasses because they cannot see the classroom board. Once diagnosed with near-sightedness, it is important to get yearly eye exams because the majority of near-sightedness increases in prescription between the ages of 6 and 16.
Farsightedness and astigmatism often go undetected by children and parents because the child can manipulate their eye muscles for short periods of time to focus on far and up close items. However, once eyestrain occurs, the child no longer wants to read and loses attention, making it difficult to learn and comprehend new material.
Amblyopia (lazy-eye) can be corrected if the child is seen by age 9. As long as both eyes are corrected and visually stimulated (usually with the help of patching the “good” eye), the amblyopic eye can develop better vision. Past the age of 12, glasses, contact lens, or surgery can no longer improve the visual development of the amblyopic eye.
If glasses are prescribed, it is important to know if the glasses are to be worn full-time or if it is acceptable to wear part-time. If the optometrist prescribes full-time wear, it is typically needed to correct distance and near vision, while improving vision development. Children’s glasses should be cleaned daily and aligned on the face. Dirty lenses and crooked glasses can cause blurred vision.
Along with measuring vision, optometric eye exams test that the eyes coordinate with each other and check the health of the eyes. School vision screenings are great, but are not always enough. Children’s eyes should be dilated to get a thorough look into the back of the eye. Dilation also helps to relax their focusing muscles for the optometrist to catch any underlying far-sightedness. At your child’s first eye appointment, it is most likely that your child’s eyes will be dilated, so please give them a fair warning that eye drops will be part of their examination.
Detecting vision problems at an early age can improve school performance, so schedule your child’s eye appointment with a Brookside optometrist at 209-951-0820.
Dr. Laurel, I agree that many children suffer in school, because of their eyesight. My girls both ended up needing glasses when they were in elementary school. We wouldn't have know anything about it though, if their teacher hadn't suggested an eye exam.
Thank you for addressing farsightedness. It is easy to let farsightedness go unnoticed as children will be able to see just fine. The signs you have to look for are more along the performance line. If you have a child that you think is under preforming, or doesn't like to read, you may want to get their vision checked.
Indeed, I was one of those children that couldn't see. I ended up getting glasses in fifth grade, and really loved to wear them. I could finally see things, and read the whiteboard at school!
I my wives brother, who passed away last year, had a lazy eye. It was interesting to see because he never seemed to be really looking at me. Is lazy eye something that is correctable?