As parents gather supplies for their child’s return to school the American Optometric Association (AOA) encourages them to add a tool crucial to academic success. An eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist could assist in putting students on the path to better learning.
Healthy vision and academic success are partners in the education of all school age children. According to a study in the Journal of Behavioral Optometry, 80 percent of what children learn during their first 12 years is related to sight. Children with vision problems have an added and unnecessary burden to their learning that may be solved with a comprehensive eye exam.
Look for These Signs in Your Child
The AOA recommends that parents look for these signs that their child might have a vision problem, including:
- Squinting, closing or covering one eye
- Holding a book close
- Losing his or her place while reading
- Headache, nausea or dizziness
- Excessive clumsiness
- Tilting head to one side
- Frequent daydreaming
- Using a finger as a place-mark while reading
- Performing below potential
- Rubbing eyes repeatedly
Comprehensive eye exams should be conducted when a child is six months old, three years old, when a child enters school, and every two years after that, as recommended by the AOA. The AOA suggests that a school vision test or a pediatrician’s screening, while helpful, is not a substitute for a thorough eye examination. Contact your local family optometrist for an exam prior to the school year.