Dr. Driscoll’s book An Eye Doctor Answers is now available on Amazon.com
I came across this video from the American Optometric Association about the importance of yearly eye exams. We also filmed our own video about the importance of yearly eye exams at the new Colleyville office . With back to school eye exams being an important part summer it is important for us to safeguard our children’s vision.
The American Optometric Association and the National Association of School Nurses have come to agreement to promote comprehensive vision care for students to improve a students ability to learn in the classroom. This comes on the heels of a study published in October by Vision Service Plan that showed that most children have not had an eye exam. School screenings, while helpful and necessary, are unfortunately often confused by parents as an eye exam. It will be great to see what the two associations do to promote better eye care and learning in children. Read the entire press release here.
Vision Service Plan has answered a question that many of us have long suspected with the release of a study conducted by VSP Vision Care. The nationwide study of almost 4000 Americans called the Consumer Eye Care and Eyewear Survey. Revealed that 76% of the the children under the age of 5 had never had an eye exam.
“While most parents probably assume that vision screenings provided by pediatricians and school nurses are enough, those screenings are nowhere near as exhaustive as the comprehensive eye exams that optometrists and ophthalmologist provide,” said James Short, O.D., chair of VSP Vision Care’s board of directors.
Dr. Short elaborated further “Before children enter school, an eye doctor should examine the eyes for signs of astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightendnes and also examine the structure of the eye for telltale signs of serious diseases”.
The study goes on to discuss the importance of providing proper sunglasses for children, tips on how to get children to wear sunglasses, prevention of computer vision syndrome in children and how to spot when your child may need an eye exam.
Most of us learn visually. Children especially are visual learners. It is hypothesized that 80% of what a child learns is through their vision yet 86% of children have never had an eye exam. People often assume a school screening, given by the school nurse, is adequate. Pediatricians also offer visual screenings.
Vision screenings, while a helpful and necessary part of school back to school, allow many children that need help to fall through the cracks. A comprehensive eye exam is truly what is needed to preserve a child’s vision. An eye exam involves an assessment of a patient’s refractive condition (nearsighted, farsighted etc.), ocular health, binocular function (how the eyes work together) and a comprehensive medical and ocular and family history. Timely eye exams can also prevent amblyopia and lazy eyes in children. More information about vision and children is available on the Total Eye Care Website.
Your baby should have her eyes examined at any age if a
problem is suspected. Until recently eye exams were recommended for all children before they entered kindergarten. However, numerous national organizations such as the American Optometric Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology and Prevent Blindness America have begun to recommend that your child receive their first eye exam at 6 months of age and then again at 3 years of age. Many forms of blindness or amblyopia (a decrease in vision) that occur in children can be prevented if caught early. Before you take your child to your eye doctor ask them if they are set up to evaluate children that are your child’s age. Not all eye doctors see young children.