Back-to-school time is a great time to schedule annual eye exams for students of any age.
Vision greatly impacts success in school. I speak from experience. When I was in second grade, Dr. Veal and Kent Cherry (I’m dating myself, I know; let’s just say it was the early 1980s) changed my world when the former gave me my first comprehensive eye exam and the latter put my new glasses on my nose. Things became clearer, and I no longer had trouble reading the chalkboard.
Now, years later, I asked Dr. Spencer Boozer, of Cullman’s Boozer Eyecare, his thoughts on the importance of vision care for kids.
Q: At what age should children begin having regular eye exams?
Comprehensive eye exams can be performed at any age – even infants! We recommend having a child’s first examination with dilation drops before age 2 and a second exam before starting preschool unless problems are suspected.
Q: What are some signs of vision problems that parents/educators should look for?
Vision problems are not always obvious and apparent to parents or teachers. Some observations that may be linked to a vision problem may include little interest in doing near activities or short durations of near work, excessive eye rubbing, squinting or subtle eye turns. Vision tests performed at pediatric well exams and vision screenings at schools will not always detect the underlying problems. Children are resilient and can manage surprisingly well despite certain vision issues. When in doubt, have your child checked out!
Q: How can vision problems affect kids in school?
Proper eye alignment is critical for those learning to read and write. Children often have a refractive error that can be compensated for with their natural ability to focus their eyes. Undiagnosed, these vision problems could lead to excessive eye strain and eye tracking difficulties when reading. Vision screenings provided at local school systems are valuable in identifying potential problems but should not substitute a comprehensive eye examination by a trained optometrist.
Q: What are the cool trends in eyewear for kids now?
Eyewear for younger patients has evolved to meet many different needs and activities. We offer many frames that are virtually indestructible and often come with a warranty for two years for any damage. Children’s spectacle lenses are mandated to be polycarbonate material – a safety material – just in case! We have a wide selection of styles and colors for your child to choose from so they can express themselves with optical fashion. It’s also important not to forget that people of any age need good, polarized sunglasses when outdoors!
"Children are resilient and can manage surprisingly well despite certain vision issues. When in doubt, have your child checked out!"
Dr. Spencer Boozer
Boozer Eyecare has been serving Cullman since 1984.