Has your child been complaining to you about his or her vision being a little fuzzy or not being able to read comfortably? Have you noticed your child holding books closer and closer to his or her face and having to squint to read? You consider taking him or her to the local eye doctor, but then you reconsider because you remember that eye exams are conducted at the school on a regular basis.
You do a little digging online and find some eye charts and vision exercises that you and your child can do at home. You do these exercises, and your child sees the nurse at school. The school nurse determines that your child needs reading glasses, and you get some at a local store that will work fine.
Believe it or not, while this may be a fictitious story, it is a common scenario that plays out in many households across America all. The reasons may vary from household to household, but many parents are looking to save money and believe that substitutes for comprehensive exams are okay—at least for a little while. However, the truth of the matter is that there is never an acceptable substitute for the comprehensive eye examination that your local eye doctor can give you, especially a child.
The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive a comprehensive eye exam every year prior to starting school. This is the only eye exam that has the ability to diagnosis vision problems prior to symptoms every becoming noticeable. It is also the only eye exam that can offer concrete answers to negative symptoms, and it’s a stepping stone to receiving assistance for vision-related issues like dyslexia, problems with math or reading, and symptoms that may present themselves a bit closer to ADHD than eye-related problems.
Isn’t a vision screening at school enough? To be honest, no. This is because these screenings only measure the visual acuity, which is how well a person can see over a specific distance. Vision is far more complex than this, and there is an assortment of skills that children’s eyes and brain need to learn to see properly and also process sight adequately.
It is possible that a child’s acuity is perfect, but there are problems with the child’s visual system that could contribute to problems with his or her learning abilities. A comprehensive eye examination performed by an optometrist can measures a variety of skills beyond visual acuity, provide a specific diagnosis if there is a problem, and create a path for overcoming said problems through vision therapy, glasses/contacts, and surgery (if necessary).
The reason that these comprehensive exams are recommended annually prior to school starting is because of how quickly a child goes through physical development. Plus, as long as the exam is conducted prior to school beginning, there’s a far better chance of visual problems being repaired or worked on prior to them turning into problems in the classroom.
If your child hasn’t had an annual comprehensive eye exam this school year, contact Performance Vision Inc. to schedule one. Remember, even if your child scored perfectly on the vision screening at school, it does not necessarily mean that your child’s visual system is operating at a normal level; it simply means that your child is able to see well at a specific distance. Let us check and make sure that your child’s vision is up to par. Schedule an appointment with us today.