Back to School Eye Exams

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August has arrived, and students will soon be packing their backpacks and heading back to the classroom. Before your child walks into class on their first day of school, it’s important to get their eyes examined by a professional. Vision problems can cause significant issues for students. According to Vision Source, close to 80% of the learning kids do in school is considered visual. In honor of school restarting and August being Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we want to share some important information with parents and teachers so they can help children succeed in life and in the classroom. 

At Drs. Kapperman, White, & McGarvey, we recommend that parents take their kids to the eye doctor once a year. As children age, their eyes change meaning problems can develop over time. Many schools offer free eye exams for students, however, those eye exams are not made to catch every vision problem. The American Optometric Association estimates that a whopping 75% of school vision screenings miss problems. They also estimate that over 60% of children who are found to have vision problems during school screenings never visit a doctor. 

Types of Vision Problems

Now, let’s talk about the most common eye problems children face. Vision problems can be divided into two categories: refractive errors and non-refractive errors. Refractive errors cause blurred vision and are more common in children than non-refractive errors, issues caused by eye diseases. Stanford Children’s Hospital says, “refractive errors are seen in almost 20% of children.” Some of the most common problems that fall under the refractive umbrella include: 

Watch for These Signs

When children are young, they may not realize they have a problem with their eyes. Parents and teachers can help catch issues early by watching for signs of vision problems. Some signs, like watching for frequent blinking or squinting, may be easier to notice than others. Many eye problems can be found through reading struggles. Parents, ask your kids if they are having a difficult time reading. Also, watch to see if they get frustrated easily while trying to focus on an activity. Some learning disabilities like ADHD and dyslexia may actually be undiagnosed vision problems. Finally, if other people in your family have vision problems, then the earlier you schedule your student’s eye exam, the better.

Parents, we know hearing about eye issues for your children may sound scary. No need to worry; our team of optometrists is here to help in every way possible. We want your kids to do their best in school and have a great year! Give us a call at 423-892-2020 to schedule an appointment today.