The Importance of Back-to-School Eye Exams


With all of the preparation for the first day back to school after summer vacation, children’s eye health is often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of physicals, dental exams, and other services. A majority of the time, parents will rely on the vision screenings that take place in the children’s schools, but unfortunately, they are not as comprehensive as believed to be. Eyesight is an essential factor to a child’s success in school because nearly 80% of what we learn is through our vision. Poor eyesight in children can lead to eye strain, blurred vision, or headaches; not to mention frustration and not being able to enjoy learning.

It is important to understand that your child’s school vision screening and eye exams performed by an ophthalmologist are not one and the same. The screenings conducted at schools in America are very limited and several eye problems could potentially be overlooked. At school, children are usually only tested for distance visual sharpness. Near vision, however, is generally not tested. Certain problems that could go unnoticed are farsightedness, amblyopia (lazy eye), and “binocular vision dysfunction”- where they eyes are unable to align properly. A vision ‘screening’ is simply that: a general overview of your child’s eyesight.

While school’s vision tests are important, a screening is not meant to a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Children are constantly growing and changing, and so do their eyes. Make back-to-school eye exams a tradition and a part of your checklist each year. Call Eye Physicians of Northampton, with locations in Florence and Amherst, to schedule your child’s exam! (413) 584-6422 or click here to request an appointment.

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