Recently, our own Dr. Jeff Yunker was interviewed by KNOX Radio 1310. He discussed the importance of pediatric eye exams and why your child needs them. Here are some highlights of the show.
Staggering Statistics of Child Vision Needs
“Vision is an instrumental process in how a child develops,” said Dr. Yunker. “About one in five kids age 12 to 17 have difficulty seeing across the room.” This statistic is increasing with the proliferation of devices and the amount of time kids spend staring at screens. This actually increases nearsightedness, making it harder to see across the classroom. “Two thirds of kids under age six have never had an eye checkup or eye exam,” continued Dr. Yunker. “And 3 to 5% of kids have an undiagnosed lazy eye.”
What is a Lazy Eye?
Basically, a lazy eye is a condition where the two eyes aren’t working together. It creates a kind of monocular function that affects the occipital cortex of the brain. Left untreated, this condition becomes permanent, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it. It can be compared to pouring concrete, says, Dr. Yunker. “Concrete hardens up and you’re not going to change the shape and what happens by age seven is, developmentally the brain that transduces an electrical impulse that’s sent to the back of your eyes so your brain can interpret what you’re seeing, those cells are like poured concrete.”
Why Your Child Needs Professional Eye Exams
School eyesight screenings help, but they can miss up to 75% of learning related vision problems. It’s so important to get kids in as soon as they start school to have a professional eye exam. Doing so can help avoid falling grades and even subsequent behavioral problems. “75% of juvenile offenders had undiagnosed vision problems,” Dr. Yunker said. If those kids hadn’t experienced vision problems in school and had failing grades, maybe they wouldn’t have turned to negative behaviors.
If you have a school-aged child, please book an appointment now. Chances are your insurance will pay for preventative eye appointments. For help with your appointment or payment options, please contact us today.