Eye exams are as important for children as they are for adults. An exam can catch early vision issues before they begin to hinder the child’s ability to learn. In fact, studies reveal that 80% of what we learn is visual.
School-age children’s eyes are constantly changing. So, when their vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will suffer. Vision problems can especially deter a child’s reading ability. They also may lead to self-esteem problems that slow their learning development by not participating fully in class.
Nearly 25 percent of students have issues with their vision, and teachers usually are good at spotting problems in the classroom. For example, one leading indicator of eye strain is a child constantly rubbing his or her eyes. Squinting is also an indicator when looking at objects in a distance like a white board in the classroom.
Keep in mind that symptoms of eye strain are less likely for children under 12 years old.
At home, be diligent. Look for potential eye issues and listen to your children. Are they complaining of headaches after reading, eye fatigue, dry eye, blurring of vision, or double vision? If so, then a visit to an eye doctor, optometrist or ophthalmologist is warranted to rule out any underlying eye conditions.
Corrective contact lenses or glasses may be all that is needed to correct early eye issues. But the parents’ job doesn’t end there. You must continue to pay close attention to your children’s eyesight, including teaching them how to take care of their corrective eyewear.