According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), Children then should have eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade — at about age 5 or 6.
Eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems.* Early identification of a child’s vision problem can be crucial because children often are more responsive to treatment when problems are diagnosed early.
For school-aged children, we recommend an eye exam annually for both the vision and health of their eye.
The Equation is Simple:
Good Vision = Better Learning
How Important is Good Vision to Learning?
Good vision is an important part of education. Many experts believe 80 percent of learning is done through a child’s eyes. Reading, computer usage and chalkboard work are all visual tasks students perform every day. A child’s eyes are always in use in the classroom. Therefore, when a child’s vision is not working properly learning and class participation will suffer.
What is Good Vision?
Good vision includes visual acuity, eye health, visual integration and visual skills such as eye teaming, eye focusing and eye motility.
- Visual acuity – the ability of the eyes to see and distinguish fine details, the clarity of vision
- Visual integration – the ability to process and integrate visual information so we can understand what we see
- Eye teaming – the ability of the eyes to work properly together
- Eye focusing – the ability of the eyes to easily focus and shift focus to near and distant points.
- Eye motility – the eyes ability to move together
What are the Consequences of Undetected/Untreated Vision Problems?
Children with undetected vision problems are sometimes inaccurately diagnosed with attention
deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When vision is difficult, it requires greater effort than normal leading the child to avoid close work. It may appear the child is daydreaming.
Is Your Child Struggling in Class?
Many children with undetected vision problems struggle in the classroom. These symptoms include:
- Trouble finishing written assignments
- Losing their place when reading
- A short attention span when doing close work
- Skipping words when reading
- Having greater potential than grades may indicate
*Vision impairment occurs in 5 to 10 percent of all pre-school age children, according to the May 2004 issue of Annals of Family Medicine; The American Optometric Association (AOA) says 25 percent of all school-age children have vision problems.
Article and information provided by the AOA