Don't Ignore School Period Eye Exams!

8 Eylül 2022

Why Is a Comprehensive Eye Exam Required Before Our Children Enter School?

A child needs a variety of abilities to succeed in school, and having good vision is essential.

Throughout their education, children's visual abilities are put under more and more stress. The amount of time spent reading and studying has increased significantly while the size of the text in the textbooks has decreased. The child's eyes had to work very hard to see because of the increased workload and homework. The accuracy and completeness of a child's vision determines how well they will learn and how successful they will be.

Success both inside and outside of the classroom is correlated with good vision.

Vision issues are not isolated issues; they have an impact on almost every aspect of a child's development, including social interactions, sports participation, academic success, and the process of gaining self-confidence. However, many vision disorders may go unnoticed or, worse, be incorrectly diagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia, learning disabilities, or behavioral issues without a thorough eye exam by an ophthalmologist. These incorrect diagnoses can persist into adulthood and have a negative impact on a person's social interactions, employment prospects, and educational attainment.

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Vision skills necessary for school

Vision encompasses more than just the capacity for clear vision or 20/20 vision. Additionally, it is the capacity to comprehend and respond to what is seen. Beyond having clear vision, there are many other fundamental visual abilities that are crucial for academic success.

Every child should possess the following visual abilities for efficient reading and learning:

Visual sharpness: Clear vision at a distance for using a computer, at a medium distance for looking at a chalkboard, and up close for reading a book.

Focus: The capacity to adjust vision quickly and precisely as the distance from objects that the eyes are focused on changes. For instance, being able to sharpen the following book or notebook while viewing the board.

Eye tracking: The capacity to maintain focus while moving the eyes across a printed page, looking from one object to another, or tracking a moving object, like a ball being thrown.

coordinated eye movement. the capacity to judge distances and perceive depth for sports and academic endeavors, as well as the coordination required to move the eyes on a page while using both eyes at once.

Eye-hand coordination: When drawing a picture or attempting to hit the ball, eye-hand coordination is the capacity to track and guide the hands using visual information.

Visual perception: It is the capacity to categorize visual elements on a printed page into letters, words, and ideas, as well as the comprehension and retention of what is read. 

The child will need to put in more effort if any of these visual skills are lacking or aren't functioning properly in order to learn effectively. Because they may believe that everyone else can see what they see, a child may not disclose that they have a vision issue. Headaches, eyestrain, and physical exhaustion are possible symptoms for students who struggle with a vision issue that affects their ability to learn. Parents and educators should be on the lookout for clues that a child may have a vision issue.

Symptoms of eye and vision problems;

  • Discomfort and fatigue complaints.
  • Frequent eye rubbing or burning and itching.
  • Short attention span.
  • Avoiding reading and other close range activities.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Covering an eye.
  • Tilting the head to one side.
  • Keeping reading materials close to the face.
  • An eye that turns in or out.
  • Double vision.
  • Skipping lines while reading.
  • Having trouble remembering what they read.

Why are back-to-school eye exams important?

Children should have eye exams every year, or more frequently if they have specific issues or risk factors, or as recommended by an ophthalmologist, because vision can change frequently during the school years. Refractive errors brought on by farsightedness (myopia), nearsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism, which results in blurred vision, are the most frequent eye issues among school-age children. A child with full vision and clear vision, however, might still experience issues with eye focus, eye tracking, and eye coordination.

Thankfully, there is a simple way to guarantee your child's clear vision and overall eye health: include a thorough, in-person eye exam with an ophthalmologist in your yearly back-to-school routine.

I wish a healthy and productive school year for all of our children and young people. I hope our kids' eyes are always bright with a smile.

Op.Dr. Mehmet Bülent Doğu
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