The back to school checklist continues to grow but one thing you don’t want to forget is to make an eye exam appointment for your child. Dr. Teri Geist with the Nebraska Optometric Association says a child’s vision is their window of opportunity.
Dr. Geist says, “Very often parents will tell me their son or daughter didn’t complain of blurry vision but that is very common. Again, children don’t know what normal is if they are having difficulties. One in four school age children have vision problems which is a lot. Since eye and vision problems can become worse over time the early diagnosis and treatment are essential to optimize the child’s eye health and prevent future vision loss and problems.”
Poor vision can also impact a child’s life in the classroom and beyond that. It can lead to difficulty in learning, behavioral problems and attention deficit. According to a survey by the American Optometric Association, 89% of parents believe that the simple vision screening occasionally offered at schools are an effective way to detect vision problems. Those screenings cannot detect potentially serious eye and overall health issues in children.
Common signals that your child is having a vision problem includes covering one eye while reading or watching TV, holding reading materials close to the face and complaining of headaches or other discomfort. Excessive use of digital devices can also cause eye strain.
The good news is most health insurance plans cover comprehensive pediatric eye exams. Many policies cover glasses for children in accordance to the ACA.
To find an optometrist in your area, or for more information on children’s vision and the importance of back-to-school eye exams, log on to Nebraska.aoa.org.