Vision problems often become evident in children right after school starts each year. Children can develop a number of different vision problems, but a common one is problems with their binocular vision. Binocular vision is when both eyes are able to work together. This binocular vision can sometimes become weakened in children’s eyes causing them to not be able to see clearly. This can cause problems with reading, which is why it is often detected soon after the start of school.
Some people wonder why it isn’t until after school starts that these vision problems are detected. Why is it that they weren’t detected during the previous school year? There are a number of reasons why this happens.
Increased Visual Demands
As a child moves from one grade to the next in school, the school work becomes more difficult, there are more things to read and write, and homework becomes more challenging. In addition, the size of the text print becomes smaller as children move up into the higher grades and this, coupled with the requirement to read more for longer periods of time, can bring to light vision problems.
The vision problems may have been there for a while, but the problems weren’t severe enough to be noticeable. Since more stress is put on a child’s eyes as they get older, the vision problems that weren’t noticeable before begin to worsen.
Parents and Teachers Become Aware
The vision problems may not have been detected in previous school years because the child’s learning may not have been affected as much if the problem wasn’t as severe. Also, if the child was acting out or if their school work was suffering, the problem could have been attributed to something else, such as communication problems between the child and the teacher or problems with other kids causing distractions in the classroom.
As the child’s vision problems worsen in the new school year and they begin to experience more difficulties completing their work, it may become clear to the parents that there is something besides the issues they previously thought about that may be causing their child to fall behind in class.
Teachers may also become aware that their student is having a hard time reading or completing homework or even having difficulties seeing the board in the front of the classroom. The teacher may notice a few things, and will then bring the issue up with the parents and eventually the problem with the child’s vision is discovered.
Vision Awareness Programs
Many schools and teachers are becoming more knowledgeable about how to spot vision problems in children and the types of vision problems that most commonly occur in school aged children. Since children spend a lot of time with their teachers during the school year where they are reading and writing under the teacher’s supervision, it is more likely that a teacher will notice a vision problem in a child before the child’s parents might.
When children are at home, they usually aren’t reading and writing nearly as much as they do at school, and so the parents may not notice with their own eyes that their child is having a problem seeing unless the child brings the issue up with the parents.
School Issued Vision Screenings
Many schools perform periodic vision screenings on the students in an attempt to detect any vision problems the children may be having. This is how a lot of vision problems in children are detected and brought to the parents’ attention. If a child fails a school vision screening, a note is usually sent home to the parents letting them know there may be a problem and suggesting that the parents take their child to an eye doctor for further testing.
Regular Eye Exams
You’ve probably heard people, especially eye doctors, say over and over again that regular eye exams are important for detecting vision problems and diseases. Well, that applies to children as well as adults. Kids should have eye exams done as babies and then again around age three and then again right before they start school. After that point, they should have eye exams every two years if they have no vision problems. Children who do have vision issues should see their eye doctor annually or as their eye doctor suggests.
Promoting Good Eye Health
No one wants to have poor vision, so if it’s possible to prevent your eyes from deteriorating why not do whatever it takes? Parents can attempt to keep their children’s eyes as healthy as possible for as long as possible by ensuring that their children are getting the necessary nutrients that promote good eye health. For more information about what nutrients are good for the eyes and vision, you can take a look at the 17 vitamins, minerals, and herbs that support eye health and vision.