Back to School Eye Exam

children's-eye-examAs a parent, you may wonder whether your child needs an eye exam or whether your child is having trouble seeing. Since your child’s school may have just started or is just about to start, a children’s eye exam may be the best thing to prepare for the school year.

Children’s Eye Exams at Valley Eyecare Center

Did you know that a children’s eye exam can improve his or her performance in school?

Along with an annual checkup with your pediatrician, taking your child for an eye exam can make sure that your child is healthy and ready for school. Clear vision helps your child understand and respond at school and at home. Undetected vision problems can lead to learning difficulties in the future, especially since the American Optometric Association has found that 80% of learning is visual.

What can you expect at a children’s eye exam?

If it’s your child’s first eye exam, make sure to explain to him or her that eye exams aren’t scary. Walking them through what will happen in an eye exam is a great way to introduce your child to the process. We are a kid-friendly office here at Valley Eyecare Center!

How can you know if your child needs an eye exam?

If your child frequently complains of headaches or tiredness, he or she may be having trouble seeing. If your child used to love reading but suddenly lacks interest in picking up a book, this could also be a sign of a vision problem. In certain cases, your child may even become rather clumsy, bumping into furniture or walls by accident.

A children’s eye exam is a great part of any back-to-school routine! To learn more about our children’s eye care services, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Health Safety Tips for Kids

Eye HealthIt’s that time of year again! Families rushing to buy binders, books, clothes, backpacks, and all other last-minute items to get their kids ready for the new school year. Unfortunately, with the back-to-school rush, it is easy to forget about taking your child to get an eye exam or ensure they are taking good care of their peepers. While the new school year can be exciting for your kids, having an underlying eye health condition could seriously compromise their academic success. Since August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, here are a few ways to make sure that your kids’ eyes are in great shape for the school year ahead.

Eye Health Tips and Vision Development for Young Children

If you have a newborn in the family, make sure to keep him or her out of direct contact with the sun, as babies are very sensitive to light. After babies are one month old, they will be able to see more clearly and sharply, and they will also be able to see color. When babies are four months old, they can differentiate colors and will see the entire spectrum of the rainbow. To ensure that your baby can see well, you should make sure that he or she can track objects and recognize you.

Eye Health Tips for Older Children

As your child ages, you should make sure to schedule a regular eye exam with an optometrist, even if your child appears not to have any vision problems. Astigmatism, a general blurriness that is caused by a misshapen eye, can develop at any age, but children can also grow out of this vision ailment. If your child complains of difficulty when reading or writing, or suffers from frequent headaches, these are signs that he or she may have an eyesight problem that should be examined by a professional. Most schools require kids to have yearly eye exams so that their vision is checked frequently.

If you have any questions about kids’ eye health or would like to book an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center, give us a call at (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

How to Limit the Spread of Pink Eye

Eye DoctorsConjunctivitis is an inflammation of the clear membranes that protect the whites of the eye. Eye doctors often refer to the condition by the colorful name of “pink eye” due to the redness it causes.

When caused by allergens such as dust or pollen, pink eye cannot be transmitted. However, the viral and bacterial forms are highly contagious. Use these tips to prevent passing the condition along to others.

Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes

Itchiness may reflexively cause you to rub your eyes, but contact with the drainage resulting from pink eye is what causes it to spread.

Wash your hands frequently

Use plenty of soap and warm water. If they’re not available, use liberal applications of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum concentration of 60 percent.

Clean your eyes several times a day

Carefully wipe away the discharge with a clean washcloth, cotton ball or tissue. Make sure the washcloth is laundered before reuse.

Wash linens with hot water and detergent

Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases and other fabric items that may come into contact with your face.

Do not wear or share eye makeup

Applying makeup, even if it’s your own, can cause continual reinfection of your eyes. Dispose of all products and purchase new ones after the pink eye has cleared.

Stay out of swimming pools

The water can cause the infection to spread quickly, and the chlorine will further irritate your already sensitive eyes.

Do not wear contact lenses

Once the infection has passed, clean your contact lenses thoroughly before resuming use.

Keep children home from school

If you have kids who develop pink eye, they should stay home to avoid spreading it to their classmates. Most schools and day care facilities have a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after treatment begins before kids can return.

Our skilled eye doctors have extensive experience in effective treatment of pink eye and other conditions. Contact Valley Eyecare Center today to schedule an appointment.

Is Your Kid’s Eye Health Affecting Their Grades?

Kid's Eye HealthHave you seen your bright, hard-working child’s grades begin an unexplained slide? There is a good possibility that the cause has nothing to do with a change in work habits. Your kid’s eye health plays a significant role in successful classroom learning and homework completion.

How vision and learning are connected

While many people learn more easily through seeing rather than hearing, the concept is particularly true for kids. You might be surprised to learn that during your child’s first year of school, approximately 80 percent of the learning process occurs visually.

Impaired eyesight has a secondary effect that also impacts learning. Poor vision is linked to behavioral problems, which can result in reduced or non-existent concentration and focus.

Diagnosing vision problems

Children have a difficult time communicating about illness or other physical problems they are experiencing. Compounding the issue is the likelihood that your kid doesn’t have enough life experience to realize that there is a problem.

An optometrist can perform a thorough exam to evaluate all aspects of your kid’s eye health. Tests are conducted to determine visual acuity, eye muscle balance and other measures related to vision and overall wellness. Schedule eye exams annually to monitor changes that occur during the growing process.

What if your child needs glasses?

Wearing glasses will require a major adjustment for your child. Make the transition smoother by letting him or her be actively involved in the choice. Allow your kid some leeway in the style so the final selection will express his or her personality, making the wearing of glasses more fun and less of a burden.

Our knowledgeable and caring optometrists are as concerned about your kid’s eye health as you are. Book an appointment today at Valley Eyecare Center and have your child ready to make this the best school year yet.

Back To School Eye Exams For Kids

Eye_ExamsIf you’ve got little ones going back to school this fall, it’s time for an eye exam!

In the back-to-school rush, this is easy to forget about, but it’s absolutely vital to ensure your child remains fully able to keep up in class. To a child, what they see is “normal.” A child’s vision could be wildly out-of-focus, and they’d never know because what they see is literally all they have ever seen.

So a child is unlikely to complain about eye problems in the same way they would about a toothache, or a flu.

That’s why it’s important to take children for a yearly eye exam, before the start of a new school year. It can prevent numerous problems that can arise over the course of a school year.

What You’re Preventing With Yearly Summertime Eye Exams

1 – Poorer Grades

Reading is, of course, one of the true cornerstones of our educational system. A student who is unable to focus their eyes on both a book at their desk and the whiteboard up front is going to be at significantly higher risk of falling behind during classroom work. If left unnoticed long enough, vision problems can even create serious deficiencies in a child’s reading ability.

2 – Behavioral Issues

Poor vision is also linked to behavioral problems. There are several causes for this, but they can all add up to a child “getting in trouble” when it’s really their eyes that are the problem.

  • Boredom. If they can’t see/follow what’s happening at the front of the class, they’re more likely to create disruptions to keep themselves occupied.
  • Avoidance. Kids often don’t understand the difference between “can’t read” as in illiterate and “can’t read” because of physical vision problems. So a student with vision trouble may create distractions specifically to “change the subject” away from reading to avoid admitting a seemingly-shameful deficiency.
  • Pain. It’s surprising, but a lot of kids with vision problems experience frequent headaches and still accept them as normal without comment… but it still puts them under stress, and makes them more likely to act out.

Children’s Eye Exams Are Easy!

Vision checkups today are quick, simple, cheap, and totally painless. Some computerized systems can do them in just a few moments. Eye exams are an easy addition to your back-to-school schedule, and can pay off across an entire school year. Schedule your eye check up with your Phoenix Optometrist today!