Summer will soon end, so parents are busy preparing their children to return to school. Most parents worry about school supplies and often forget to take their children for annual eye checkups.
Annual eye checkups are vital to ensure your child's vision is normal and healthy. It is an excellent way to be sure they will be able to do their best in school and have an excellent social life. More importantly, identifying a problem early is essential to treatment. The earlier you diagnose an issue, the easier it will be for your child to respond to treatment.
Schools routinely conduct eye screening tests before the start of the year for specific school years. School screening tests should not stop you from taking your child to the eye doctor. School screening tests are not thorough tests that can find underlying vision issues. They are not conducted by eye professionals but by volunteer nurses and teachers.
It is not to say that they are to no avail—they can find vision issues like shortsightedness and farsightedness. However, vision issues like astigmatism, amblyopia, and others need a professional to diagnose.
There are school screening tests for the following years:
Preschool and kindergarten
First and third grade
Fifth, seventh, and eleventh grade
If you take your child to an eye doctor, they will test for the following essential abilities for your child.
Coordination of the eyes or binocular vision
Eye movement skills
The eye doctor will also check for developing eye problems like amblyopia or lazy eye and strabismus or crossed eyes. Strabismus involves one or both eyes turning outwards or inwards towards the nose. Amblyopia is when the vision in one eye is impaired, and glasses cannot correct it.
Lazy eye may develop from crossed eyes but usually shows no signs. But if detected early, it can be treated successfully.
Children will not usually complain about visual issues because they may assume everyone sees as they do. When these visual issues are untreated, they may progress to significant vision problems. They will interfere with the academics and social life of your child.
Many eye problems develop in early childhood, so it is essential to detect them early. You can know your child has visual problems if you notice them squinting or preferring to bring things close to their face.
As stated above, early detection of visual issues is vital to their management. When eye problems are detected early, the eye doctor can provide a management plan that helps preserve your child's eye health. Some conditions like amblyopia can be reversed completely, while you can slow down the development of others like myopia.
Vision is essential for children's learning, so following the correction of their vision issues, their performance in school will improve.
For more on why kids need an eye exam before returning to school, contact Studio Optix at our office in New York, New York. Call (212) 765-4444 to book an appointment today.