Your Back to School List – Eye Exams
As students across the country are saying goodbye to summertime activities, their parents are preparing for the upcoming school year. School supplies and new clothes are usually at the top of back-to-school lists. But a comprehensive eye exam should be there, too. Here’s why:
1. Diagnosing Myopia Early
Even if your child doesn’t complain about blurry vision or not being able to see, your optometrist may be able to catch myopia (nearsightedness) as young as 6-8 years old. Myopia is an eye condition that results when the cornea (the transparent layer forming the front of the eyes) is formed with too much of a curve. Myopia can also be caused by eye structures being slightly longer than normal.
As children grow and age, these conditions do the same. This is why nearsightedness can worsen rapidly, especially during puberty or middle school years. While vision prescriptions can change often as children age, vision does tend to even out. A yearly, comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist allows you to stay ahead of common vision problems, as well as to seek vision-related advice about getting the most out of the upcoming school year.
2. Developing Good Reading Habits
Many school-age children who unknowingly suffer from hyperopia, or farsightedness, may struggle with reading up close. Hyperopia occurs when visible rays of light entering the eyes focus behind the retina as opposed to directly on it. Because distant objects can be seen clearly, hyperopia is sometimes missed during basic vision screenings. If reading is difficult due to farsightedness, younger children especially could tend to shy away from regular reading without treatment.
The good news? Farsightedness can be corrected with glasses that change the way visible light bends and enters into the eye. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can detect and diagnose hyperopia. If your child complains of headaches, blurred vision, or the need to squint while trying to read, you should make an appointment with your optometrist right away as these may be signs of hyperopia.
3. Understanding Other Vision Problems
While amblyopia (or lazy eye), astigmatism (a defect in the eye or lens causing distorted vision), and strabismus (eyes that are misaligned) may be less common, these conditions and others can be detected through yearly eye exams. For some eye conditions, vision can be permanently affected if not caught and corrected early.
Whenever possible, your optometrist can work with you to provide long-term treatment plans that will help lay the foundation for a great school year. Independent Doctor of Optometry Matthew Walsh, FCOVD is devoted to helping children and adults attain improved vision skills that empower them to lead more productive lives. Along with our hand-picked selection of high-quality designer frames and the latest in digital lens technology, Naples Optical can help your child build a foundation for academic success.
Call us today at 239.263.6677 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Matthew Walsh, O.D., FCOVD.