A few weeks ago, my wife did what every parent does this time of year- she took our kids shopping for school supplies they will need for the upcoming school year. Clear, comfortable vision is just as important to learning as having the correct textbooks, colored pencils, and calculators. Reading, writing, and computer work are among the most challenging visual skills that students perform daily. Yet, studies show that a large majority of children start school without ever having an eye exam.
Many experts believe that roughly 80% of learning comes through a child’s eyes. Some signs and symptoms that could indicate that your child is having visual problems include:
- losing place when reading
- avoiding near work
- frequent eye rubbing
- headaches, especially after near work
- using finger to maintain place when reading
- squinting when reading or watching television
- holding reading material very close
- behavior problems
- omitting or confusing small words when reading
Studies indicate that 60% of children identified as “problem learners” actually suffer from undetected vision problems, and in some cases have been misdiagnosed as having ADD or ADHD.
When I ask many parents if their children have ever had an eye exam, they reply “Yes, they get one every year in school.” Keep in mind that this vision screening given by the school nurse typically measures just distance and near vision. They do not test for focusing problems and eye converging problems which are important for all of the work (and play) that children do at near. While screenings provide some benefit, it is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam.
I usually recommend that parents take their children to have their first comprehensive eye exam around the age of 6, provided everything up until that age appears normal. I find that 6-year-olds can sit still for about 20 minutes, they know all of their letters by then, and I can perform all of the testing that I need to get accurate results. More often than not, children who come in for a “routine exam” end up having no problems. But a few times a year I diagnose an eye muscle problem which explains why a child is having difficulty reading, or discover a child who passed the school screening yet has a lazy eye and needs to begin treating it immediately.
If your child(ren) has never had an eye exam or if it has been a while, call us today to schedule an appointment. In addition, mention this newsletter and take 20% off a new pair of glasses if ordered before October 15. This can not be combined with other discounts or vision benefits.
Fun Fact of the Day #1
Did you know that China produces 50% of the world’s apples? The next largest producer is the U.S. at 6%!
Fun Fact of the Day #2
Did you know that apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide?
Forget Jersey Tomatoes….
A few years ago a friend of mine from Ohio gave me some tomato seeds. These are unofficially known as AJ’s Heart Tomatoes and I think they originated in Italy and were brought back by his father after WWII. I have about 8 plants in my backyard producing a bumper crop this year. If any of you have a “green thumb” and would like me to save you some seeds, let me know. My friend AJ would be thrilled to know that his dad’s legacy lives on.
And last but not least…
I love this photograph and just had to share it with you. I was taking some pictures at a fireworks show this year and pressed the shutter release at the perfect time to get this shot. I entered this photo in this years Middletown Grange Fair, but apparently, the judges didn’t have the same opinion as me.
Laura Thomforde says
Hi Dr. Mike,
Please do save us some seeds. We will give the AJ heart tomatoes a try. They look tasty.
Also, you have my vote for a very neat picture of the fireworks. It looks like an electric flower.
Mary Roach says
Loved the picture. Nice shot of the fireworks. Judges have NO taste.
Diane Cummings says
You know I luv you guys!!!
Annette M. Noll says
Your photo was awesome, thanks for sharing!…also, would love to try your heart tomatoes…they look tasty!