What’s on your back-to-school list? Buying new pencils and paper? Getting new clothes? This year, make sure you add a visit to the optometrist to your list. A comprehensive eye exam is critical for children to make sure they do not have any emerging vision problems that could affect their work at school. According to the American Optometric Association, 60 percent of children labeled as “problem learners” actually have undiagnosed problems with their vision. Many children receive a “vision screening,” which is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam and only looks at limited issues.
In a comprehensive exam, the optometrist will measure visual acuity at several distances, which tests the child’s ability to read the blackboard, a computer screen, her books, and other materials. The doctor will also test the child’s ability to focus, visual alignment, eye-hand-body coordination (essential for handwriting skills, sports, musical instruments), and color vision. All of these vision skills are critical to success in school. To give your child the best chance for success this year, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at your optometrist and use your vision plan for a discount. It could be the most important thing on your to-do list!