Why Your Preschooler Should Have an Annual Eye Exam
As a parent, one of the many important decisions you will make is choosing the right preschool for your child. However, before you send your child off to school, it’s important to also have their vision checked. A comprehensive eye exam will help in preparing them for school and can identify vision problems that could hinder their learning and development. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of a comprehensive eye exam and how it differs from a basic eye screening.
According to the American Optometric Association, one in four children has a vision problem that can interfere with their learning. Vision problems in young children can affect their ability to learn, read, write, and even play sports. In fact, studies have shown that children with untreated vision problems can experience difficulties with academic performance, behavior, and social interactions.
The early years of a child’s life are crucial for building a strong foundation for learning. Preschoolers depend on their vision to learn tasks that will prepare them for school. During this time in their lives, they are developing the visually-guided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills and visual perceptual abilities necessary to learn to read and write.
If a child is unable to see correctly, it can lead to delays in learning and socialization. Early identification and treatment of vision problems can prevent these negative outcomes and give your child the best possible chance of success in school and life.
Untreated vision problems in children can lead to significant learning difficulties and impact a child’s overall quality of life. Did you know…
- Up to 80% of learning in a child’s early years is visual.
- 60% of children with reading difficulties have an undiagnosed vision problem.
- Children with uncorrected vision problems are three times more likely to fall behind in school.
This is why identifying and treating vision problems in young children as early as possible is so important.
Many preschools conduct basic eye screenings as part of their admission process. While these screenings can detect some vision problems, they are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. A basic eye screening typically involves the use of an eye chart to measure a child’s visual acuity or clarity. While this test can detect issues like nearsightedness or farsightedness, it doesn’t provide a complete picture of a child’s eye health or identify other common vision problems such as eye teaming, focusing, or tracking issues.
A comprehensive eye exam involves a thorough evaluation of a child’s eye health and vision. It includes tests to check for visual acuity, eye movement, binocular vision, and color vision, as well as an examination of the eye’s internal structures. A comprehensive eye exam can detect a range of vision problems that a basic screening may miss, making it a more effective way to ensure your child’s vision is in optimal condition.
In our exams when a child can’t read letters yet, we use shapes and colors. We make children comfortable with puppets and the use of our “Special Lights” allow us to have fun as we look for the following things:
- How the eye tracks and turns
- High Refractive Error – meaning significant far or nearsightedness.
- Overall Eye Health
No matter what age, regular eye exams are important. Prepare your child for success as they enter preschool and beyond. To learn more, or to schedule your child’s exam, give our offices a call at 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444. We also invite you to join us on Facebook at facebook.com/BissellEyes for more tips on eye care.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more Information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.