August means one thing: all things back to school! From shopping for school supplies, finding out teacher assignments, and squeezing in all those last-minute school physicals, dentist appointments, and vision exams! August also is National Children’s Vision Month.
Did you know 1 in 4 kids has an undiagnosed vision issue that impacts how they learn?
Dr. Heidi Bell, Developmental Optometrist with EliteEyeCare, shares what red flags to watch for in a child’s everyday and school behaviors as well as what to expect during a child’s eye exam.
InfantSEE eye exams are provided at no cost at EliteEyeCare for children before their first birthday. This helps to establish a baseline and help catch any big problems. Using lights and lights and devices, your child can have their vision checked before they start talking!
Most pediatricians are checking your child’s distance vision, but a Developmental Optometrist also checks up-close vision – the distance in which a child is reading and doing their work.
During a child’s eye exam, Dr. Bell will be checking the 4 primary areas of functional vision:
- Eye sight. Can they see clearly?
- Vergence. Are their eyes moving inward and outward and transitioning between near and far correctly?
- Accommodation or focusing ability. Can they pick up something and will their eyes automatically be able to read it or is it blurry?
- Tracking. Watching the eyes as they move from left to right, keeping their place as they read, and being able to read from line to line in a flowing, not choppy pattern.
All of these skills are learned, can be relearned and corrected with glasses and vision therapy.
Vision Red Flags
- Does your child squint when they’re watching tv?
- Does your child skip lines when they are reading?
- Is your child holding reading materials too close? Too far?
- Are they always tilting their head?
- When they have their picture taken outdoors, do they close an eye?
- If you tell your child to look at a camera, do they look directly at it?
- Does your child have problems with letter reversals?
- Other signs might be reading fatigue, low stamina, rubbing their eyes after they read.
If you are looking for these red flags, you can help your child get the vision help they need before their “reading developmental issues” become permanent personality traits.
For the full interview, click the link below!
Phone: (515) 987-3937
Located at 9250 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa