Michigan Optometric Association Promotes Comprehensive Vision Examinations Of Children
Children’s Vision Care Committee
As summer draws to a close, many children (and parents) eagerly await a return to school in person. Parents are starting to think about back-to-school lists, including the next size of clothes, office supplies, and healthy meal options. Although questions continue to be asked about the school’s appearance for the year 2021-22 (will children be wearing masks? Will in-person sports and field trips resume? duration of virtual schooling?) One thing remains constant – vision plays an important role in learning, and a full eye exam should be on that back-to-school list.
Many children undergo eye screenings in schools and health services throughout the year, which is important for detecting major problems such as a large uncorrected refractive error (need for glasses), amblyopia. (?? lazy eye, ??) or strabismus (around the eye). However, these screenings are designed to detect major issues, not some of the more subtle issues that can be just as debilitating for a child’s learning. Eye team, tracking and focusing disorders often go undetected during eye screens, as are eye health issues. Problems with eye tracking, teamwork, and concentration will often manifest in the classroom as learning difficulties. Sometimes this will look like a student not reaching their potential, doing better with verbal or oral tasks compared to reading or paper and pencil tasks, skipping lines while reading, or poor fluency or comprehension during reading. reading. Other times it can feel like fatigue or a headache at the end of the day. Still other times, it may feel like inattention or avoidance of close tasks, or disturbing classmates instead of paying attention to office work. To see examples of how a child with these issues might see, click here.
Who can help identify eye problems with vision, other than visual checkers? Parents, teachers and paraprofessionals are high on the list of people who may notice these types of difficulties early in the school year. If homework is consistently difficult, or if a student complains of headaches or not wanting to do nearby activities that involve their eyes (reading / writing / computer work for older children, drawing or coloring for older children) young), its difficulties may be related to an ineffective visual system. Pediatricians, school nurses, and school psychologists may also notice that a child’s difficulties may be related to their vision. If any of these people are worried, parents should take their children to a doctor of optometry for a complete eye exam. This exam will include an assessment for important issues like the need for glasses or an eye survey, but the optometrist will also assess teamwork, tracking and focus skills, and perform an eye health assessment. If problems are revealed, there are usually several treatment options that can help reduce barriers to learning during the school year.
The main lesson here: Have your student’s eyes checked with a comprehensive eye exam. This is a series of tests that can help others go a little easier for your student this school year and beyond. To find an ophthalmologist near you, visit our doctor locator.
- Contact details
- Chelsea stevens
- Communications coordinator
- Michigan Optometric Association
- [email protected]
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