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Classes are Resuming! Here’s How You Can Protect Your Child’s Vision

Eighty percent of what children learn is through their eyes. However, one out of every four children experiences some sort of vision issue. As the coronavirus pandemic continues and digital learning becoming the norm, protecting your child’s vision is more important than ever!

Here are some tips for ensuring your child’s academic success.

Vision Screenings Are Not a Replacement for an Eye Exam

A vision screening only indicates the presence of a vision problem or a potential vision problem. These screenings are facilitated by a school nurse who checks distance vision, which is how well a child can read from a chart 20 feet away.

Vision screenings do not check for basic vision issues, including:

  • Farsightedness

  • Nearsightedness

  • Color blindness

  • Binocular vision dysfunction (eye coordination issues)

  • Lazy eye

A vision screening cannot diagnose exactly what is wrong with your child’s eyes. Only a comprehensive eye examination can diagnose overall eye health and vision!

Behavior Problems or Vision Issues?

Because grades and behavior may suffer as vision issues arise, children who have trouble seeing are often misdiagnosed with behavioral problems like ADHD.

Some warning signs of a vision issue that’s impacting your child’s classroom performance include:

  • Squinting: Children squint in an attempt to clear blurry vision. This behavior could be a symptom of nearsightedness or farsightedness.

  • Reading Difficulties: Does your child lose their spot, get frequent headaches, or cover one eye while reading? These are strong clues that your child has a vision issue.

  • Tilting and Eye Rubbing: Head tilting and eye rubbing may look cute, but, when it starts to become a habit, it could signal a potential vision problem.

If your child is falling behind in school, schedule an eye exam first. Ruling out vision problems helps prevent a misdiagnosis of ADD or ADHD and could also prevent your child from being prescribed unnecessary medication.

Dangers of Too Much Screen Time

Research suggests that heavy screen time among kids can lead to early myopia. Staring at digital devices forces the child to focus and strain more than many other tasks, which stresses the eyes.

This is known as digital eye strain (or computer vision syndrome). Symptoms of digital eye strain can include:

  • Headaches

  • Dry, itchy, or irritated eyes

  • Fatigue

  • Shoulder and neck pain

  • Words moving on the screen

Thanks to COVID, online and distance learning are increasing. It may not be an option to limit your child’s screen time. Talk to your optometrist about blue light glasses (available in both prescription and nonprescription form). These devices can cut down on eye stress and protect your child’s vision.

Schedule Your Child’s Comprehensive Eye Exam Today

Young eyes change quickly, so a yearly eye exam in children is a must! Scheduling annual appointments with the eye doctor is just as important as yearly medical check ups - especially in today’s world!

Contact our offices at (952) 944-2792 or through our online form and make sure your child is getting the eye care they deserve!


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