One in four school-aged children has an undiagnosed vision problem that interferes with learning, according to the Vision Council of America.
When vision problems occur, a child may find difficulty in reading or identifying letters, numbers and symbols to fully integrate basic fundamentals of education. Potentially treatable problems often cause children to be labeled as dysfunctional or “slow,” so these problems can and should be detected prior to full ocular development.
Children learn approximately 80 percent through their vision in the first eight years of life. While your child may appear to see perfectly well, you cannot be certain without a professional vision exam since school vision screenings only detect about 20 to 30 percent of all eye problems. Children’s eyes are almost fully developed by age nine and can be aided or trained as early as six months.
It is also important to understand the impact of digital devices on young eyes. Viewing content on digital devices has a different effect on the eyes than reading pages in a book or looking at a chalkboard. Digital eye strain is a reality for today’s children. In a recent survey the AOA found that 80 percent of kids report symptoms such as burning, itchy or tired eyes after long periods of device use.
One thing everyone can do to reduce eye strain is to take a break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Another thing is to make sure your child has a comprehensive eye exam every year.
The State of Illinois requires that all students entering a public, private or parochial school for the first time, starting at kindergarten, have their eyes examined by a licensed optometrist.
To ensure your child maintains the best vision possible for the rest of his/her life, you should schedule a professional exam every year beginning at age three.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact our office.