Clear, high quality vision is essential for learning. In fact, more than 80% of information taught in school is transmitted through visual tools. To equip your children for educational success, be sure to schedule a complete pediatric eye exam before their first day of school.
At Optical Zone, in Plano, TX, we will assess your child’s eyes for 20/20 vision and ensure that any visual condition is corrected properly with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Our skilled optometrists, Dr. Akshet Joshi and Dr. Hassam, will inspect for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In addition to these common eyesight problems, we also check for less obvious learning-related vision difficulties that could compromise learning and cognitive development.
What is “good vision” in children?
Visual acuity can be tested by having your child read a basic wall chart of letters and numbers. Yet even with a result of 20/20, your child may still have trouble with eyesight. Beyond vision clarity, there are other ocular skills that are necessary for high performance in school. Weakness in any of these capabilities can have a negative effect on your child’s education.
Visual skills that impact learning include:
- Eye teaming: how eyes are synchronized to work together and converge for proper eye alignment; reading depends upon this
- Eye movement: the ability to move eyes across a printed page
- Eye focusing: changing from near to far and back again, such as when copying information from a classroom board
- Binocular vision: combining visual images from both eyes to form a single, 3D image
- Visual-motor integration: eye-hand coordination that’s significant for clear handwriting, copying information smoothly and playing sports
- Visual perception: the ability to identify and comprehend visual images, connect them with information already learned and discriminate between important and secondary details
Are vision problems common in children?
Yes. According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), research has demonstrated that 13% of children between 9 to 13 years old have a moderate to severe convergence (eye teaming) problem. In particular, these kids have a hard time learning to read. It has also been estimated that as many as one in four school-aged children suffer from a minimum of one learning-related visual difficulty. Many of these children are incorrectly diagnosed with conditions such as ADD/ADHD, when in reality they suffer from an ocular condition.
What are some signs of a learning-related vision problem?
Your child may complain from a multitude of diverse symptoms as a result of a learning-related vision problem. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as:
- Eye strain and frequent headaches
- Difficulty changing focuses from near to far, and back
- Double vision, often associated with reading
- A general avoidance of reading, and/or poor reading comprehension
- Loss of place or missing words while reading, and/or letter and word reversals
- Poor handwriting
- Weak performance in school
- Hyperactivity during class
If your child experiences any of these behaviors or symptoms, please contact us at Optical Zone, in Plano, Texas, to reserve a pediatric eye exam and consultation with our professional, experienced optometrists, Dr. Joshi and Dr. Hassam.
Complete Children’s Eye Exams
Our comprehensive vision exam for children includes a variety of assessments that are targeted to spot any learning-related conditions. Tests may include an evaluation of eye teaming, accommodation, eye focusing, ocular motility and binocular eyesight. We may also recommend more advanced, specialized testing. Depending upon your child’s diagnosis, vision therapy may also be advised.
Many learning-related visual conditions that cannot be correctly adequately with contact lenses or eyeglasses can be treated with vision therapy. A customized regimen will be designed with a program of eye exercises that aim to strengthen your child’s vision skills.
Learning Disabilities Due to Vision
Falling behind in the classroom may be the result of a learning-related vision problem or a learning disability. Sometimes weak performance in school is due to a combination of both conditions. Note that if a learning disability is detected, vision therapy will not be able to correct it. Yet if a disability and a vision problem are both present, then therapy or specialized eyeglasses may help with managing certain types of learning disabilities.
Call our office for more information or book your child’s eye evaluation online.