Eye Exams for School-Age Children
A child needs many abilities to reach their full potential academically, a properly functioning vision system is one of them.
Vision is a complex process that involves over 20 visual abilities, and more than 65% of all the pathways to the brain. A child with a poorly performing visual system experiences barriers to learning, participation in sports, and social engagement.
Consider these facts:
- 50.1% of parents in the United States overlook eye exams for their school-age children.
- 37% of these parents say they skip professional eye exams because their child has their eyes checked (vision screenings) at school or at the pediatrician's office.
- Up to 80% of vision problems are missed during vision screenings at school or the pediatrician's office.
- 20% of U.S. children are two or more grade levels behind in reading due to difficulty in eye control and visual coordination.
The majority of children with a vision problem do not complain about it or even mention it. As an adult, you may wonder “how can that be”? It is important to remember that most children assume we see the world as they do. They are completely unaware that they have a vision problem and learn to adapt, developing compensatory techniques. This makes it even more difficult for a parent or teacher to detect a possible vision problem.
One of the simplest, and most cost effective, steps a parent can take is to schedule a comprehensive, dilated eye exam with one of the doctors at Artisan Pediatric Eyecare. Our doctors are residency-trained in pediatric vision care. This makes them uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat vision conditions that affect children. An eye exam at Artisan Pediatric Eyecare can answer questions you may have, and provides peace of mind.
A comprehensive, dilated eye exam at Artisan Pediatric Eyecare evaluates:
- Distance vision
- Eye movement skills
- Eye teaming (binocularity) skills
- Focusing skills
- Near vision
- Ocular health
- Ocular posture
- Peripheral awareness
We invite you to contact our office to schedule a comprehensive eye examination for your child. You'll be glad you did.
CHILDREN'S EYE EXAMS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Kids eye examinations are too important to put off.
Children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life…academically…socially…and athletically. Proper eye care can break down these barriers and help enable your children to reach their highest potential.
Risk factors include:
- Infants born prematurely or with low birth weight
- Infants whose mother had rubella, sexually transmitted disease (STD) or AIDS-related infection during pregnancy
- Family history of amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (when the eyes are not aligned in the same direction), or eye disease such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration
- Family history of genetically influenced conditions: Nearsightedness, farsightedness, color vision deficiency (commonly called color blindness) or retinitis pigmentosa ( a progressive decline of the retina)
- Nearly 80% of what a child perceives, comprehends and remembers depends on the efficiency of the visual system
- Vision is a complex process involving over 20 visual abilities and more than 65% of all of the pathways to the brain
- 11.3% of children who passed a vision screening at school or the pediatrician’s office were found to have a vision problem in need of correction
- 20% of U.S. children are two or more grade levels behind in reading due to difficulty in eye control and visual coordination
- 1 in 4 school-age children have an undiagnosed vision problem that interferes with learning
- The rate may be as high at 60% for children with learning problems
The diagnosis and treatment of ocular conditions in infants and children requires a specialized, dedicated approach. Our team of experts provides the unique care children need. In addition to primary comprehensive eye care, we also offer specialized testing and treatment for developmental delays and visually related learning difficulties.
Does your child need an eye exam?
When you're deciding whether or not you should take your child in for an eye exam, consider the following:
- Home tests or vision screenings will not detect all of a child's vision problems
- 80% of what a child learns during the first 12 years is obtained through vision
- Visual impairment in children is associated with developmental delays and the need for special educational, vocational and social services
- 25% of students in grades K-6 have visual problems that are serious enough to impede learning.
- When vision problems go undetected, children almost invariably have trouble reading and doing their schoolwork. They often display fatigue, fidgeting, and frustration in the classroom – traits that can lead to a misdiagnosis of dyslexia or other learning disabilities.
- It is estimated that 80% of children with a learning disability have an undiagnosed vision problem.
- Early diagnosis and treatment of children’s vision problems is a necessary component to school readiness and academic learning.
- Vision screenings are not a substitute for a complete eye and vision evaluation by an eye doctor.
- Early testing for vision problems is critical to preventing learning disabilities or, in some cases, significant visual impairment in children.
Vision is a complex process that involves over 20 visual abilities and more than 65% of all the pathways to the brain. One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem which can interfere with learning and lead to academic and/or behavioral problems. However, it is important to know that these children frequently do not report symptoms because they think everyone sees the same way they do.
Often a child with a vision related learning problem has excellent verbal skills, causing parents and educators to think the child must be lazy, have ADD/ADHD, or is learning disabled. The possible misdiagnosis can be due to similar symptoms, but the causes are not the same.
Signs and Symptoms
Vision problems can elicit a wide range of signs and symptoms. Some, like eye strain or blurred vision, can usually be attributed directly to a vision dysfunction. Others, such as poor attention span at school, clumsiness in sports, or reduced productivity at work, may not immediately be recognized as possible signs of a vision problem. The great news is that many of the vision conditions that contribute to difficulties in school and cause symptoms, such as eye strain or blurred vision, can be treated.
Click each item below to learn more about physical symptoms and which problems often result from them.
- Physical Signs or Symptoms
- Frequent headaches or eye strain
- Blurring of distance or near vision, particularly after reading or other close work
- Avoidance of close work or other visually demanding tasks
- Poor judgment of depth
- Turning of an eye in or out, up or down
- Tendency to cover or close one eye, or favor the vision in one eye
- Double vision
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Difficulty following a moving target
- Dizziness or motion sickness
- Performance Problems
- Poor reading comprehension
- Difficulty copying from one place to another
- Loss of place, repetition, and/or omission of words while reading
- Difficulty changing focus from distance to near and back
- Poor posture when reading or writing
- Poor handwriting
- Can respond orally but can’t get the same information down on paper
- Letter and/or word reversals
- Difficulty judging sizes and shapes
Treatment of Learning-Related Visual Problems
The treatment of learning-related visual problems involves the use of appropriate glasses for near work and/or a regimen of vision therapy (also known as binocular therapy or visual integration) to improve important visual skills.
Since 1991 our team of trained specialists have been providing accurate, professional diagnoses and state-of-the-art treatment you can count on. Our expertise, experience and results speak for themselves. We look forward to being of service to you and your family.