It may be the middle of summer, but many parents of school-aged children are already planning for the busy back-to-school season ahead. Getting all the right school supplies is important but getting a comprehensive eye health and vision exam scheduled for your school-aged child is vital to set them up for success in school.
Did you know that 1 in 4 school-aged kids has a vision disorder?  You may not realize your child has a vision problem until they start affecting their ability to learn and read, and kids can’t always tell you that they’re having problems with their vision. Even if your child has passed a vision screening and can see 20/20, that doesn’t mean they don’t have trouble with eye focusing, eye tracking, eye teaming and eye coordination which will affect their ability to read and learn.
The most common vision problems in school-aged children is blurry vision or refractive error.
Common Vision Problems in Children
Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects millions of people worldwide, including children. Myopia occurs when the eye grows too long, or the front part of the eye are too curved. Myopia causes blurry vision when looking at things in the distance, such as a blackboard in a classroom. Myopia can be hereditary, so if one or both parents are nearsighted, the child may be, too.
Unfortunately, myopia usually gets progressively worse, which can put a child at risk for serious eye health issues later in life. Dr. Joel Hayden has developed a treatment program to stop the progression of myopia called H.A.L.T. (Hayden Advanced Lens Therapy). Learn more about this program here:
Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a vision problem in which an object in the distance becomes focused behind the retina. Children who have hyperopia can usually see things in the distance, but have problems seeing things up close, such as a book.
Astigmatism is a visual condition in which the cornea is abnormally curved, making objects up close and in the distance blurry.
Convergence Insufficiency is a binocular vision problem in which the eyes drift outward when looking at things up close, such as a book. This can make reading very difficult for a child.
Warning Signs of Vision Problems in Children
If you notice an eye turning in or out or that your child is frequently squinting to see, these are obvious symptoms your child may have a vision problem and needs a comprehensive eye exam. Other warning signs of vision problems in children include the following:
- Frequent eye rubbing or rapidly blinking
- Short attention span
- Struggling with reading or other activities up-close
- Frequent headaches
- Often covering up one eye when trying to see
- Tilting their head to one side
- Holding a book or other reading materials up close to their eyes
- Frequently losing their place while reading
- Difficulty with reading comprehension
Schedule a Pediatric Eye Exam
A vital part of proper preparation for back-to-school is to schedule a pediatric eye exam for your child to ensure they have the visual skills necessary to learn. Kids can’t always communicate that they’re having vision problems and need to have their eye health and vision thoroughly examined by an expert doctor.
Dr. Joel Hayden has years of experience treating children and has the expertise to diagnose and properly treat vision problems in children. Book an appointment at Hayden Optometric for a pediatric eye exam today and set your child up for success this upcoming school year!