Every parent wants to help their child succeed during the upcoming school year, but they may be forgetting one very important step: a comprehensive vision exam with a member of COVD!
Childhood is so full of learning new things–learning to walk, learning the alphabet, learning to tie your shoes. On top of these classic milestones, you may be surprised to find out that the ability to see clearly is something we learn, too. It takes a lot of practice to make your two eyes work as a team! If that practice doesn’t go quite according to plan, things like reading and writing become much, much harder than they should be.
August is Vision & Learning Month, and COVD wants your family to know how critical good vision is for success in school. To kick things off, this week we’ll be looking at the way vision develops and see how easy it can be for problems to go unnoticed.
Hidden in plain sight
Imagine, for a moment, that you’re just a few months old. Those bright baby-blues of yours can’t get enough of the world—there’s so much to look at all around you! When you’re not eating or sleeping, you’re using your eyes. Maybe one side of your vision is fuzzier than the other, or sometimes you see a double-image of your parent’s face. But you smile and crawl and try to put everything in your mouth, so everything seems to be going well.
As you get bigger, the grown-ups around you start pointing at funny shapes and saying things like “A, B, C…” It’s frustrating when those shapes seem to keep moving around and scrunching up when you look at them, but you can recognize them well enough to repeat their names and earn plenty of praise. After a while, you come to the conclusion that it’s probably normal for letters to be like that.
The way your eyes take in the world around you is enough to get by for your first few years of life. But once school starts, those hidden vision problems quickly start to get in the way. “Why won’t you finish your homework?” your parents ask, but you can’t think of any good reason. Your pediatrician’s eye chart test said your vision is 20/20, so you probably just aren’t trying hard enough. You grip the pencil even harder, rub your eyes for the hundredth time, and try to ignore that nagging headache.
A closer look
Children who are bright and talented, yet struggle to see clearly, are often reluctant to tackle reading, writing, and homework. The adults in their lives may label this as “laziness” or “bad attitude.” Through no fault of their own, children with undiagnosed vision problems may be scolded for refusing to “try harder.”
Vision screenings in school and at the pediatrician’s office may provide the basic “eye chart test,” but this only ensures that each eye can read certain-sized letters from a certain distance away (called acuity). Out in the real world of school, sports, and daily life, it takes much more than 20/20 acuity to learn, play, and work effectively.
Luckily, the members of COVD are here to take a closer look at your child’s real-life vision. As optometrists who specialize in developmental and binocular vision care, COVD members go beyond the “eye chart test” with a comprehensive vision exam that evaluates a broad range of vital visual skills.
Don’t forget the most important item on your child’s back-to-school list. Locate a Doctor near you and schedule a comprehensive vision exam to check for the hidden vision problems that eye charts miss. Empower your child to have the best school year ever by ensuring their vision is the best it can be!