- Get school supplies
- Buy new shoes
- Schedule sports physical
- Pay classroom fees
- Attend Back-to-School Night
Something very important is missing from the list: making appointments for comprehensive eye exams for your children! Even if there are no complaints over the summer about blurry vision or headaches, children still need to have frequent eye exams. Just like their bodies are rapidly growing, children’s eyes are changing as well.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common condition in children which often develops around the age of 6 or 7. This condition results when the cornea is curved too much or when the eye is longer than normal. When light comes into the eye, it is focused in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina and the child’s vision is blurred.
Nearsightedness can worsen rapidly, especially between the ages of 11 and 13, which means that an eye prescription can change dramatically over a short period of time. Never fear, mom. Changing eyesight is not a reason for worry, and vision tends to stabilize in the later teenage years and early twenties. During the growing years, it is important to make regular eye appointments with your child’s eye doctor. Making comprehensive eye exams a part of your back-to-school tradition guarantees that your children’s eyes are examined at least once every year. These exams also mean that you have the opportunity to obtain updated prescriptions, ask questions of your eye doctor, and get recommendations for when to schedule the next exam.
Comprehensive eye exams can also detect other eye conditions besides nearsightedness. Some children may have good distance vision but may struggle when reading up close. This is known as hyperopia or farsightedness. Other eye issues such as strabismus (misaligned eyes), astigmatism or amblyopia (lazy eye) are also detectable through an eye exam. For some eye conditions, vision can be permanently affected if the problem is not corrected. Regular exams mean earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment.
Even a small change in vision can cause eye strain, headaches or blurred vision which can be very distracting while in school. Staying consistent with eye exams will help your children to have clear vision and be able to concentrate and perform to the best of their ability. If you have not chosen an eye care professional, please use our physician locator to find a physician in your area who can provide quality vision care for your children. With clearer vision, this school year will be the best ever!