Back to school typically means new clothes, new books, and new school supplies. But is it time for new glasses…or contact lenses? A lot of parents will rely on pediatrician visits or school screenings to let them know that little Johnny has 20/20 vision and that his eyes are fine. But is that really all there is to little Johnny’s eyes, or more importantly his visual system? Here are a few reasons to consider taking your back-to-schooler in for a comprehensive eye examination.
First, kids adapt to their situation very well. If things are a little blurry, they squint (even when reading eye charts). If they are getting headaches, they accept them as being normal. Sometimes it’s even the squinting that leads to the headaches. During a comprehensive vision exam, an eye doctor is able to spend more time evaluating the quality of their vision and whether or not they are having to work to read the smaller letters on the eye chart. Keep this in mind…if little Johnny is having to squint to see what his teacher writing on the board, he will likely be spending more energy trying to see the board instead of being able to completely focus on what his teacher is teaching.
Second, vision is more than 20/20. We should expect school-age children to not only have clear vision, but comfortable vision as well. During a comprehensive exam, an eye doctor will evaluate how efficiently the eyes are working together. Eye tracking, eye alignment, and eye focusing all play a part in creating a comfortable visual experience.
Third, eye health is more than 20/20 vision. There are certain eye diseases that can be present even if a child has perfect eyesight. Eye doctors will use microscopes, lights, lenses, and even sophisticated cameras to perform a thorough health evaluation during a comprehensive exam.
So, even if little Johnny is getting all A’s and has the highest batting average on his baseball team, he should still see an eye doctor for a thorough once-over now that he’s back in school.