Get Ready for Back to School with an Eye Exam

Going back to school is an exciting time for many children, but in order to ensure that they start the year right, it is important that you equip them with all of the tools that they need to achieve their potential. This includes healthy eyes, clear vision, and strong visual skills. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by scheduling them for a visit with your eye doctor.


Here’s why a back to school eye exam should be on every parent’s back to school checklist.

Myopia most commonly develops during childhood

Myopia is the biggest vision problem in the world and it most often develops during childhood. Patients with myopia can see objects close to them clearly, but those that are at a distance appear blurred and out of focus. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, which affects how the cornea and lens of the eye focus. As a result, light is focused in front of the retina rather than on its surface. The patient will require prescription glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision so that they can see clearly. Studies have found that children who spend more time indoors – such as when using screens – could contribute towards the development of myopia. Taking your child for a back to school eye exam will help ensure that they aren’t developing myopia, and if they are affected, that they can receive the right prescription lenses to help them see clearly at home and school.


Your child needs good visual skills for their growth and development

Contrary to what many people believe, eye exams don’t only check how clearly your child can see. They, like us, also need to develop a whole range of different visual skills which they will come to rely on throughout their life. Their eye exam will assess many of these different visual skills, including:


Eye movement skills – the ability to track and follow with their eyes. Being unable to do this well can make it very difficult to read without losing their place. Eye movement skills are also needed for any activity that requires hand-eye coordination.


Eye focusing skills – the ability to switch our focus from near to far and back again. Poor eye focusing can cause blurred vision, eye fatigue, reduced reading comprehension, and more.


Eye teaming skills – assessing how well your eyes work together. Deficiencies can make reading, writing, and comprehension difficult.  


Depth perception and spatial awareness skills – understanding where we are in relation to objects around us. Poor depth perception reduces hand-eye coordination and makes driving and sports difficult and dangerous.

Children with vision problems are often misdiagnosed

Estimates suggest that around 25% of all children have a vision problem that is affecting their performance at school. Unfortunately, many of these children are misdiagnosed with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and other conditions, when in fact it is their difficulty with key visual skills that are preventing them from achieving their full academic potential. In many instances, children who are placed in a position where attention may be drawn to their vision problems – such as being asked to read aloud in class – will act out in order to avoid the situation. It is these types of behaviors that often result in children being misdiagnosed.


Undergoing an eye exam before the start of the term will ensure that your child’s vision has been thoroughly checked and that they have all of the visual skills that they need to fulfill their potential at school.


If you have any questions about the importance of back to school eye exams, or to schedule a visit with our team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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