It may seem early to be thinking about back to school, but those shopping and to-do lists are long, and a back to school eye exam is a crucial item to add to your list.
One out of four of school aged children has a learning issue directly linked to problems with their vision. Many parents will take their children to the pediatrician’s office for a back to school or annual physical. While pediatricians often do vision screenings, they only screen to asses vision in the distance. This is troublesome because kids spend a lot of their time looking at near objects like books, ipads, laptops and projects. Near vision struggles can make kids uncomfortable staying focused on near tasks – this results in a decreased desire to read, poor handwriting and trouble focusing.
Children should have their first full eye exam by kindergarten, if not earlier.
It is recommended that school-age children visit an optometrist for a full eye exam prior to beginning the new school year. An optometrist can help identify vision problems that can cause larger issues with learning.
Parents should also be aware of the effects of blue light emitted from computer screens, tablets and eco friendly bulbs. It has been shown that blue light has decreases melatonin levels (the sleep hormone) and makes it harder to wind down or sleep at night. Because kids need 9-12 hours of sleep each night, its important that they reduce exposure to blue light prior to bedtime – blue light can also be reduced using special lens technology in glasses.
To schedule an appointment for a back to school eye exam for your child, click here or call our office. If you have children heading off to college this fall, you can save $25 off your purchase if they wear their college t-shirt to their exam during the month of July.More