Wake and Durham County elementary and high school students need good eyesight to read the whiteboard, the computer screen and their textbooks. While many people who do not wear corrective lenses often do not need yearly eye exams, it’s a good idea to include one late summer or early fall as part of your child’s back-to-school regimen. Children who have difficulty reading or completing assignments may have vision disorders, making it harder to socialize, play sports and study.
More than 80 percent of the information children receive at school is presented visually, and regular eye exams will make sure a child doesn’t have any trouble taking in that information. In many cases, children do not realize they have eye issues and just sit closer to the board, never sharing this problem with teachers and Mom and Dad.
While many eye care professionals are checking whether a child’s vision is 20/20, at Park Ophthalmology, Beth R. Friedland M.D. also checks children for other vision disorders that may create learning problems.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children get their first eye exam at six months, a second at age one, another at age three, and then just before they enter preschool or kindergarten.
In North Carolina, students are required to get a vision screening before elementary school. This comprehensive eye exam must be administered by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. After that, risk-free children should get eye exams every two years. However, children with high risk factors may need more frequent eye exams.
Seven risk factors include:
- Premature birth or low birth weight
- Infection of mother during pregnancy (examples: rubella, venereal disease, herpes, AIDS)
- Developmental delays
- Turned or crossed eyes
- Family history of eye disease
- High refractive error
- Other physical illness or disease
Still, even children who are risk-free may experience changes in eye health from one year to the next. Observing a child’s behavior is a great way to tell if it is time for an extra eye exam to check for changes in vision or any vision disorders. Common symptoms of such changes include headaches, double vision, blurring, loss of place, difficulty copying from the whiteboard/blackboard, squinting, difficulty reading and sitting close to the TV and computer.
At Park Ophthalmology, Dr. Beth R. Friedland is happy to answer questions about your child’s changing eye health, no matter what time of year.
Park Ophthalmology welcomes patients from all areas of the Triangle and offers a wide variety of specialized services including surgery for diseases of the eye, vision examinations, eye safety information, sports medicine protective eyewear and counseling, contact lenses and evaluation, and all types of ocular diagnosis and treatment. Many types of surgery are available, including cataract and laser surgery. We are here for you and your eye and overall health. Give us a call today!
This article about eye exams for children is brought to you by the professional team at Park Ophthalmology located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.
The information contained in this blog article is intended solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be offered as medical advice.
5306 NC Highway 55, Suite 102 (adjacent to the RTP/ Research Triangle Park)
Durham, NC 27713
Office: 919 544 5375
Fax: 919 544 5829
Park Ophthalmology North
6512 Six Forks Road, Suite 105
Raleigh, NC 27615
919 846 6915
Office Manager Jenny Whitman, e-mail: email@example.com.
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Photo: Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net