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Woman getting an eye test done

Why You Need to Have Your Eyes Checked Regularly

The Essential Back To School Check Up Most Parents Miss

Back to school time is a hectic time for parents. There are baskets of school supplies to purchase, physicals to obtain for sports, meet the teacher nights to attend, and piles of forms to fill out and return. But are you missing an essential back to school event for your child?

You take your child in for the annual well-child checks but are you taking them to get their eyes checked too? Most parents think the cursory eye check in the pediatrician’s office or the vision screenings done by the school nurse are sufficient, but in reality, these checks can miss many things.

Poor vision can limit your child’s ability to learn. A comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist can detect problems with the overall eye health, evaluate how well the eyes are functioning, and determine correction needs. Things the doctor looks for during the examination include

  • Muscle imbalances causing crossing of the eyes
  • Vision development problems such as large differences in prescription between the eyes that can lead to diminished eye function if not corrected
  • The need for any correction at all
  • Any overall health issues or eye diseases

Children should be seen each year due to their rapid growth rates. A growth spurt can cause a child who has never needed glasses to suddenly need them or change a child’s prescription seemingly overnight. Some doctors recommend children who exhibit no need for correction and no other eye health issues be seen every two years.

School-age children are not the only ones that need to see the eye doctor on a regular basis. Infants and toddlers can be limited by poor vision as well. Current recommendations are to have a young child checked at least 3 times before they start school- once at about 6 months, once around age 3, and once around the time they start school.

Adults also benefit from regular exams, but the timing advice varies. The most common schedule recommended is every 1-2 years. Older adults are more prone to developing eye health problems and should be checked yearly unless otherwise told by their doctor.

Children depend on their vision for much of their early learning. Help ensure you provide all of your child’s school supply needs by making sure they see an eye doctor regularly.