As children head back to school, the exciting and hectic time of new teachers, friends, activities and schedules may have you and your child overlooking a very important factor when it comes to their education - optimal vision. Learning happens through the eyes with 80% of learning being visual. So, if your child has poor vision, this will directly impact their ability to learn. Many people don’t realize how many problems poor vision can cause for school-aged children. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your child’s overall eye health and what you can do to safeguard it.
Although every child is different, you should schedule your child’s first eye exam at six months old. After that, schedule your next exam at three years old and again before they enter first grade. It’s also important to note that vision screenings, sometimes administered at school, are not the same as a comprehensive eye exam. Even if a child passes a vision screening or has never had problems with their vision, you should still schedule a routine exam annually between ages six and 18.
Keeping An Eye On Your Child's Vision
Children are not always aware of their problems or know how to express what they are experiencing. Therefore, encourage your child to talk to you if they have problems and look for telltale signs such as:
- trouble focusing in school
- difficulty reading or writing
- complaining of headaches
- holding books, paper or handheld devices too close to the eyes
- excessive eye rubbing
- unusual clumsiness or lack of coordination
What To Do If There’s A Problem
The first thing you should do if you suspect that your child has an eyesight issue is schedule an appointment with your optometrist. At Gulf Coast Vision Center, we will be able to diagnose the issue and recommend the proper solution.
For most childhood eyesight problems, glasses are the answer. A child with a standard eyesight issue and corrective glasses will see better, suffer from fewer headaches and even perform better in school.
Regardless of what type of eye condition your child has or if they are just getting started on their eye care journey, Gulf Coast Vision Center can evaluate and diagnose any condition. We specialize in pediatric eye care and can provide comprehensive testing to determine the best route for your child’s specific condition.