The school year has begun, and it is a good time to remember how good eye health is essential to helping your children succeed in school. But it is also important to remember that regular eye exams are needed to protect their vision.  Here are a few reasons why.

Vision Problems Are Not Always Noticeable

Regardless of their age, a child may have no idea that something is off with his or her eyesight. These problems are not always so obvious so parents and teachers will not always notice them either. Often, vision problems go unnoticed until children begin having difficulties in school or develop physical symptoms.

Regular eye exams can help detect vision problems that can lead to:

  • Reading difficulties
  • Squinting when looking at things far away or close up
  • Short attention spans
  • Frequent headaches
  • Light sensitivity

School Vision Tests Are Not Comprehensive

Many schools provide yearly vision screenings to their students. Because these screenings are not diagnostic, they are not enough to identify all types of vision problems. Comprehensive eye exams are conducted by a Doctor of Optometry and check for more than just a child’s visual acuity. These eye exams also check for:

  • Visual alignment
  • Ability to focus
  • Eye tracking skills
  • How well both eyes work together
  • Color vision
  • Hereditary eye diseases
  • Overall eye health

How Often Should Kids Have Eye Exams?

The American Optometric Association recommends that infants should have a comprehensive eye exam between to the age of 6 and 12 months to determine a baseline of their eye health. Another exam should be performed between the age of 3 and 5 to check for changes in eye health and diagnose problems that could affect their eyesight.

It is recommended that children aged 6 should have a comprehensive eye exam before entering first grade. Going forward, children should then have eye exams annually to detect changes in their vision.

Early detection and treatment are crucial to protecting your child’s eye health for their lifetime. Call Valley Eye Care Center at (602) 955-2500 to schedule your child’s next eye exam.