Back-to-School Checklist – a Trip to the Eye Doctor!

July 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

New teachers. New clothes. New notebooks. It’s time for the kiddos to go back-to-school! While this is an exciting time, parents and students might be missing an important task that will ensure learning success – a visit to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

Every year, 20 million children go back to school with a vision problem that may interfere with the ability to learn or contribute to discipline problems. According to an American Optometric Association survey of K-12 teachers, 81 percent believe vision and learning are interdependent.

Reading, writing, and computer work are just a few of the tasks students are expected to perform daily that require visual skills.

Below are essential elements an optometrist will check during a comprehensive eye exam to make certain learning is maximized through good vision. (Source: American Optometric Association).

  • Visual acuity is measured at several distances so students can comfortably and efficiently read, work on the computer and see the blackboard.
  • Focusing is an important skill that is tested. Eyes must be able to focus on a specific object and to easily shift focus from one object to another. This allows the child to move visual attention from a book to the blackboard and back.
  • Visual alignment and ocular motility are evaluated. Ideally, the muscles that aim each eye converge so that both eyes are aimed at the same object, refining depth perception.
  • Binocular fusion (eye teaming) skills are assessed. These skills are critical to coordinate and align the eyes precisely so the brain can fuse the pictures it receives from each eye into a single image
  • Eye tracking skills are tested to determine whether the child can track across a page accurately and efficiently while reading, and can copy material quickly and easily from the blackboard or another piece of paper.
  • Testing preschoolers’ color vision is important because a large part of the early educational process involves the use of color identification.
  • Eye-hand-body coordination, critical for handwriting, throwing a ball or playing an instrument, and visual perception, used to interpret and understand visual information like form, size, orientation, texture and color perception, are important visual functions that are reviewed.
  • Overall eye health is determined by examining the structures of the eye.

This year, make your child’s vision a priority. Schedule their eye exam in one of our offices today.

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July is Eye Injury Prevention Month

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