The Importance of Taking Your Child to the Eye Doctor

Did you know that your child's vision is an important component of their education? When a child can't see well, it greatly impedes their ability to learn. You can tell your child might have trouble seeing if they need to sit close to the television or computer screen, they complain of headaches, or they squint their eyes when looking at something. If you notice your child doing any of these things, you'll want to take them to the eye doctor as soon as possible.

An Eye Doctor Tests All Areas of Vision

Before you take your child to the eye doctor, it's a good idea to tell them what to expect when you take them there. You can tell your child that an eye doctor will probably have them identify colors, pictures, and numbers. You can also tell your child that the eye doctor may have to use certain tools, which allows the eye doctor to learn more about your child's vision. You can assure your child that nothing during an eye exam will hurt or cause discomfort.

As a parent, some things you should expect the eye doctor to examine include their color perception, depth perception, and eye coordination. The eye doctor will also test for refractory errors, which include myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). You should not be surprised if your child's vision needs to be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. According to a study by the American Optometric Association (AOA), 25 percent of children wear or will need to wear glasses by the time they reach kindergarten.

An Eye Exam Is More Accurate than a Vision Screening

You might think that since your child has passed a vision screening test at school that their vision is fine. However, vision screenings are not the same as an eye exam that is performed by a professional eye doctor. According to the AOA, school vision screenings miss up to 60 percent of children that have problems with their vision. This is because a vision screening can only assess a few different areas of vision.

A vision screening cannot determine the health of the eyes, nor can it diagnose certain eye conditions. One area that doesn't get tested in a vision screening is color vision, which is especially important for kids at school as many things they use are often color-coded.

Since you cannot rely on vision screenings at school, it's vitally important that your child see an eye doctor for a routine eye exam or if the child seems to be having vision problems. Learn more by contacting clinics like Sabates Eye Centers.