“Back-to-school” this year may mean students physically returning to school, attending online classes, or even being homeschooled. We understand there is nothing “normal” about the challenges parents face, no matter how students attend classes as a new school year begins. These unique learning situations, though, make it especially important to schedule student eye exams. In Frankfort, Corydon, and throughout the Kentuckiana region, our eye doctors can help.
Vision issues can impact a student’s ability to learn, but parents often rely only on vision screenings provided by schools or pediatricians. These basic screenings often fail to detect conditions that continue to worsen without a comprehensive eye examination conducted by a qualified eye doctor. During a comprehensive exam, an eye doctor can assess the health of a child’s eyes much more accurately than a simple visual acuity test.
The Benefits of ‘Back-to-School’ Eye Exams
Parents who schedule regular checkups with pediatricians and make dental appointments for their children may not realize that annual visits to the eye doctor are just as important. If school screenings don’t find any cause for concern, they may think, everything must be okay.
But there are significant benefits for students having annual eye exams. These include:
- Childhood is a time when vision problems may develop: Conditions such as nearsightedness, also called myopia, make it difficult to see distant objects—such as a teacher’s notes on a classroom board. This refractive error can be corrected if detected in an eye exam. Left unchecked, the condition may be linked to learning difficulties.
- Children may not be aware of vision problems: A child often has difficulty either noticing or describing health-related concerns. That’s especially true for visual conditions that develop gradually. Studies show that 1 out of 4 kids may have undetected vision problems, many of which may not be noticeable in the early phases. A professional eye exam, unlike visual acuity tests, uses advanced equipment to examine ocular structures and functions.
- Early detection and proper management of vision issues are important: Undetected conditions that hamper a child’s sight can deteriorate without treatment. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and addressed, the better it is for a child’s long-term vision. This can also help prevent a student from falling behind in school.
- Increased screen time: This is especially true for online students, but even kids attending school in person rely more and more on digital learning. This screen time intensifies their exposure to the blue light emitted from monitors and smartphones, which may heighten their risk of developing vision conditions. We may prescribe computer eyeglasses during their eye exam to prevent these problems from happening.
For children whose schools are conducting virtual classes, it’s also important to have an appropriate space for online learning. An ophthalmologist’s office can help provide guidelines to parents that include proper screen position, good lighting, posture, remembering to blink, and having their children take breaks from looking at the screen.
You can schedule an eye exam for your child or children by contacting our practice using the online form or by calling our main office at (812) 284-0660 to schedule an appointment.