August is national children’s vision and learning month!
Christenson Vision Care is excited to celebrate national children’s vision and learning month. With school right around the corner it is important that our children receive comprehensive eye exams. If a child has an undiagnosed ocular problem it can affect their performance in school and sports.
The recommended vision examination schedule for children is as follows: 6 months of age, age 3, the year the child starts school and every subsequent year. The child may be recommended to have more frequent exams if he or she is diagnosed with a problem. Early comprehensive exams in children can detect problems that may have a significant impact on their development and academic performance. It has been reported by the American Public Health Association that 25% of children in grades K-6 have visual issues that impede learning and academic performance. According to the COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development), visual factors are a significantly better predictor of the child’s success academically when compared to race or socio-economic status. Another study was conducted observing a condition of convergence insufficiency and how it relates to school performance before and after treatment. Convergence insufficiency is an eye coordination disorder that makes it harder for the child to perform at the high level required by our schools. The study revealed that: “A successful or improved outcome after CI treatment was associated with a reduction in the frequency of adverse academic behaviors and parental concern associated with reading and school work as reported by parents.” The summary of the study can be found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22080400. Having children examined at the appropriate times allows the doctor to detect visual problems; ranging from near or farsightedness to amblyopia (lazy eye).
While school screenings are preformed for children free of charge they are known to miss significant visual problems that can have significant consequences. The COVD reports that school screenings only detects 5% of visual problems such as amblyopia or convergence insufficiency. If the parent notices their child struggling in school they should not wait for a school screening but have their child get a comprehensive eye examination. With over 17 visual skills being used in the classroom, and school screening only testing a few of these skills, obtaining a comprehensive eye exam in an optometric office that provides vision therapy and optometrists that specialize in pediatrics and binocular vision is very important. If the practice you bring your child to for a comprehensive eye examination does not perform vision therapy the doctor should make the appropriate referral to a practice that can help your child. For parent and patient testimonials on vision therapy and their successes check out the COVD Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/covdpage.
Here at Christenson Vision Care we specialize in children’s comprehensive eye exams and evaluating how their vision affects their academic work. If therapy is needed we provide the child with a detailed and tailored vision therapy program to work on the problematic areas, including dyslexia. Contact us at (715) 381-1234 to make an appointment today!