Back to School! Is Your Child’s Vision Ready?

Good vision is important at every stage in life, but it is especially important that your child see well in school. Vision problems can adversely affect your child’s achievement in school, during sports and play, and even in social situations. Clear vision also helps your child stay safe. Children need certain vision skills to get the most out of school, and a vision screening can help ensure that your child has good vision.

About 20 percent of children have refractive errors, a type of eye problem that causes blurry vision because the eye does not focus light correctly. Nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are common refractive errors. Nearsightedness means your child cannot clearly see faraway objects, while farsightedness means your child cannot see close up items, such as words on a page. Astigmatism causes blurry vision close up and far away so your child has trouble seeing at all distances.

Poor Vision Causes Problems In and Out of the Classroom

These conditions can prevent your child from seeing the chalkboard or computer screens well, which can prevent your child from learning all he or she can during class. Poor vision can cause poor eye-hand coordination and interfere with playground and sports activities – it is hard to catch a blurry ball or jump over a hurdle you cannot see! Even simple tasks, such as learning how to tie shoes or match socks, are more difficult with vision problems.

Vision problems can also affect a child’s social life. Poor vision can cause a child to miss visual cues, such as the facial expressions of others, during conversations. Inability to focus or see clearly can cause a child to squint, tilt his or her head to the side, or even invade another child’s personal space. These behaviors, in addition to poor performance in the classroom and during play, can lead to teasing, bullying, or being picked last for team activities. Having both poor vision and social problems at school can lead to low self-esteem, withdrawal and behavioral issues.

Poor vision can also lead to problems at home during the school year. Untreated vision problems can contribute to stress throughout the household because homework can take longer than it should and parents can become frustrated when the child “acts out” or lags behind.

Because vision problems often cause subtle symptoms, many parents do not realize their child has trouble seeing. The best way to make sure your child’s vision is ready for school, make an appointment with Lifetime Vision Center. Our team of skilled professionals aims to give every child we see the healthy vision they need for success in and out of the classroom.

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