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January is National Eye Care Awareness Month

Keep an Eye on Your Child’s Vision

Your child’s vision helps them take in the world around them. But it also plays an important role in their development. If your child has an uncorrected vision problem, it may affect their ability to learn and reach their highest potential. Having a routine eye exam is important to keep their eyes healthy.

Since many vision problems begin at an early age, you should make sure your child gets the recommended eye exams to help keep their eyes healthy. Healthy vision is important for your child’s overall development and learning ability.

As your child grows, their eyes can change quickly. Your child’s pediatrician will likely screen your child’s vision as part of their regular checkups. If they find signs of a vision problem, they may recommend that your child see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

Although both are important, a vision screening and an eye exam are not the same thing.

  • vision screening is an evaluation used to identify the children in need for additional eye care. It can be done by a family doctor, pediatrician, school nurse, or other health care professional.
  • comprehensive eye exam is a thorough exam done by an eye doctor - a specialist called an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The eye doctor can diagnose your child’s medical or vision problem and provide treatment.

If your child has a vision problem, they may have trouble recognizing letters and written words, which can affect their school performance. Some studies have found improvements in learning, testing, class participation, behavior, and self-confidence after an eye exam and treatment.

Parents and teachers can help children by being aware of common vision problems such as:

  • Refractive errors
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Convergence insufficiency

If you notice your child squinting, rubbing their eyes, having trouble concentrating, or complaining of headaches after doing schoolwork, make an appointment with an eye doctor. The eye doctor can check your child for these conditions as well as other vision problems and provide treatment if needed.

Eye exams at every age and life stage can help keep your vision strong. Take care of your vision health, just as you take care of the rest of your body and help your child do the same. Your child’s vision health affects how well they can see, learn, and enjoy life.

To access the full article on glaucoma disease and kids, click here.