Well Boise, can you believe it is August already? August in national Children's Eye Health and Safety Month. August is a perfect time of year for Children's Eye Health and Safety Month because it gets children's eyes ready for the next school year! Back to school season seems to be weighted towards getting new school supplies and school clothes when it needs to include making sure children can see their school work and are happy and healthy.
There is an antiquated school of thought that vision does not impact learning, even within the health community. Intuitively, this doesn't make sense. How can a child read or learn if they are unable to see their work? Thankfully there are research articles that disprove the school of thought that vision does not impact learning. Fun fact: 80% of what a child learns in the classroom is visual. Keep in mind visual demands are increasing for school-aged children because of increases in curriculum and technology integration into the classroom. These visual skills are more than just the ability to see 20/20. A comprehensive eye examination with a residency-trained pediatric optometrist or a neuro-optometrist will evaluate the following skills:
Visual Acuity: What is the best the eyes can see?
Ocular Health: Are the eyes healthy?
Refractive Status: Are glasses indicated?
Ocular Posture: Are the eyes aligned? Can the eyes work together as a team? (Please note that not all eye turns are cosmetically noticeable)
Vergence System: Can the eyes turn in together as a team to maintain clear, single vision while reading?
Accommodative System: Can the eyes focus and relax focus to allow shifting visual attention with ease and without causing headaches, eye-strain, and intermittent blurred vision?
Fusion: Can the eyes work together to appreciate stereopsis (3D vision)?
All of these skills play an important role in a child's day in school. Children who are having difficulties with visual skills may demonstrate the following:
Works harder than peers for the same results
Headaches after near work
Takes longer to finish tasks than peers
Holds book close
Difficulty taking notes from the board
Poor reading fluency/comprehension
Trouble recognizing and remembering sight words
Limited success with eye-hand coordination
Avoidance of reading activities
Clinically what has been noticed is that parents may not be aware that their child is struggling because the child is unaware that not everyone sees the way they do so they don't complain. Following parent teacher conferences there is an influx of children to the clinic who display some of the signs listed above. Meaning that child was working through visual conditions for the first few months of school and may be behind academically. Children's Eye Health and Vision Month encourages getting these children in before the school year to diagnose and visual conditions that can impact learning.
This August make sure your child is ready for school with a comprehensive eye examination with a residency trained pediatric optometrist or a residency trained neuro-optometrist.
Artisan Optics - Uptown
M-F: 9-5:30 | Sat: 10-2
7960 W Rifleman St #150
Boise, ID 83704
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