As parents, we do everything we can to get our kids off to a great start in school. But there’s one back-to-school essential that many of us miss—the annual eye exam. Making an eye exam part your family’s back-to-school routine can help detect learning related vision problems early on. Along with a yearly visit to the pediatrician, an annual eye exam is key to making sure your child is healthy from head to toe, and ready to give school their best shot.
VISION AND LEARNING SKILLS
Especially for kids, vision is about more than just seeing clearly. It’s being able to understand and respond to what they’re seeing. Sometimes we don’t realize that vision, reading and learning are intimately related, and kids who aren’t doing well in school may actually suffer from one or more learning-related vision problems.
In fact, the AOA estimates one in four school-aged kids have undetected vision problems that critically impact their visual perceptual skills -better known - as the 3 R’s:
RECOGNITION — knowing the difference between letters like 'b' and 'd'
COMPREHENSION — ‘picturing’ what’s happening in a story they’re reading
RETENTION – remembering and recalling details about what they’ve just read
Every kid needs solid vision skills. Your eye doctor will determine if any of these basic ones are lacking. If they go undetected, a kid could struggle with simple tasks leading to eyestrain, headaches, and tiredness.
LEARNING AND VISION WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• 1 in 4 kids has an undetected vision problem.
• Vision changes can occur without your kid even noticing.
• Undetected vision issues lead to learning problems.
• Poor vision can lead to low confidence in school and sports.
• Regular pediatric eye exams are at the heart of kids’ success in school.
• Schedule kids’ eye exams yearly before school starts to make sure your kids are ready to take on their year.
Healthy vision meansbetter school days
1. Visual Acuity
Seeing far away to view the chalkboard, at arm's length to see a computer, and up close for reading a book.
2. Eye Focusing
Maintaining clear vision as distance changes quickly like when looking from the chalkboard to a desktop and back.
3. Eye Teaming
Coordinating both eyes together when moving eyes along a printed page, or judging distances for sports and play.
4. Eye Hand
Taking visual cues from what is seen to be able to draw or hit a ball.
5. Visual Perception
Organizing images on a printed page to see letters, words and ideas.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR CHILD'S EYE EXAM
Good students have better eyesight – period. When our kids are seeing, they’re learning. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), as much as 80 percent of learning is visual. Reading, writing, and computer work are just a few visual tasks kids do every day in school. Whether they’re solving math problems or working on the board, kids need good vision to do their best in school.
Before the exam, explain that eye exams aren’t scary, and can be fun! With ClarifyeSM at LensCrafters, a kid-friendly eye exam is quick for your child and less stressful for you. After the doctor tests how she sees colors and letters using charts with pictures, shapes, and patterns, ClarifyeSM equipment will give an initial digital measurement of your kid’s eyes in fewer than 60 seconds. And, we can actually show you on an iPad a side-by-side simulation of how your child is seeing now, and how their vision will look once corrected. If your child does need glasses, the doctor will write a prescription that you’ll take when your kids go to pick out their cool, new frames.
Kids learn about the world through their five senses. Their eyesight is key to learning and to developing strong problem-solving skills that will take them through life. Since learning-related vision problems can occur at any age without you or your child noticing, make sure to pay attention to signs and symptoms, and of course, make regular eye exams a good back-to-school habit.
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Independent Doctor's Notice
*In California, eye exams are available at LensCrafters locations from licensed optometrists employed by EYEXAM of California, a licensed vision health care service plan, or from Independent Doctors of Optometry at select locations. The optometrists are not employed by LensCrafters, which does not provide eye exams. Eye Exams are available by Independent Doctors of Optometry at or next to LensCrafters in most states. Doctors in some states are employed by LensCrafters.
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