Don’t lose sight of an eye exam in your back-to-school routine

20th May 2022

Authored by TK&S Optometrists

Jumpers? Tick.

Shoes? Tick.

Lunchbox? Tick

Bag? Tick

Pencil case? Tick.

Eye exam? Sorry, what?

The annual back-to-school to-do lists for parents are currently being compiled, but how many of them include arguably the most important appointment of them all?

As children progress throughout their education, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. The size of print in textbooks becomes smaller and the amount of time spent reading and studying via digital screens increases significantly.

A rise in workload and homework place significant demands on a child’s eyes, and children depend on their vision to function properly so they can learn efficiently and excel.

It’s vital that parents get ahead of the game and book an appointment with an optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination before terms starts.

Without that eye exam, many vision disorders can go undetected or, even worse, may be misdiagnosed as ADHD, dyslexia, a learning disability, or a behavioural problem.

Because vision can change frequently during the school years, children should ideally receive an eye examination every year, or more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist, or if recommended by an optometrist.

Unfortunately, many parents and often incorrectly assume that if a child passes a school screening, there is no vision problem. The most common vision problem in school-age children is blurry vision or refractive error caused by short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism resulting in blurry vision.

However, a child who can see clearly can still have a vision problem relating to eye focusing, eye tracking and eye coordination. In reality, the vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to ensure your child’s overall eye health: Schedule an in-person, comprehensive eye examination with an optometrist as part of your annual back-to-school routine.