Did you know that vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition during childhood? That’s bad news, but the good news is that, if caught, it can be easily treated in most cases! The real key is diagnosing vision issues before they manifest into other issues, including problems with behavior and even school performance.
Children who have undiagnosed vision problems can suffer from low self-esteem. They can become frustrated more easily, have trouble concentrating on reading, experience frequent headaches, or rub their eyes. Once their vision is corrected, children with eyeglasses hold their heads high and exude confidence if the adults around them are positive and supportive.
For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually or as recommended by their optometrist or ophthalmologist. Early eye examinations are crucial to make sure children have normal, healthy vision so they can perform better at schoolwork or play.
Early eye exams also are important because children need the following basic skills related to good eyesight for learning:
• Near vision
• Distance vision
• Binocular (two eyes) coordination
• Eye movement skills
• Focusing skills
• Peripheral awareness
• Hand-eye coordination
Be sure to tell your eye doctor if your child has or displays any of the following:
• A history of prematurity
• Delayed motor development
• Frequent eye rubbing
• Excessive blinking
• Failure to maintain eye contact
• Inability to maintain a gaze (fixation) while looking at objects
• Poor eye tracking skills
Also, be sure to mention if your child has failed a vision screening at school or during a visit to his or her pediatrician.
At Jacksonville Vision Center we are proud to be a resource for all your vision needs. Dr. Taylor specializes in comprehensive eye care for the whole family and takes a special interest in the health of young eyes. So don’t forget to schedule your child’s annual appointment today, and we can discuss any concerns you may have about his or her vision to best set them up for success this school year.