Eye doctors at the Vision Clinic encourage parents to start the school year on a healthy note by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam for your kids.
According to the American Optometric Association, a national advocacy group for public eye health, a child’s vision can change frequently or unexpectedly from ages 6 to 18 years old leading to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom.
While many schools offer basic vision screenings, eye care experts say it is better to get a full exam from an eye doctor because serious eye health issues may otherwise go undetected.
“One in four children have an undiagnosed vision problem simply because changes in their eyesight go unrecognized by both the child and their parents or guardian and often get worse over time,” said Dr. Stanley Smith, optometrist at the Kalispell Vision Clinic.
“Making a comprehensive eye exam a priority this year is one of the single most important investments you can make to your child’s education and overall health,” Smith said.
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Vision Clinic reminds parents to keep these four eye health and safety tips in mind:
1. Know that pediatric eye exams are most likely covered by your health insurance plan.
2. Look for indicators of eye health issues: Common signs that your child may have a vision problem include covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, a short attention span and complaining of headaches or other discomfort.
3. Prevent eye strain by monitoring use of digital devices: Increased exposure to electronic devices in and out of the classroom can cause digital eye strain, including burning or itchy eyes, headaches, blurred vision and exhaustion.
4. Wear proper eye protection for sports and outdoor activities: Well-fitting, protective eye wear and quality sunglasses that offer UV protection are also critical to maintaining key visual skills for sports and preventing injuries.