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Identify poor eyesight early for better kids' health

Most parents don’t realize how critical it is for children to get regular eye exams. Vision problems are best treated early on, and without routine eye exams a minor issue can grow into a more serious problem. Ignoring or failing to notice even a small vision issue can be detrimental to your child’s health and also their development.

Not only do eye exams ensure your child is seeing as clearly as possible, they also assess the risk for eye diseases. Eye doctors may use one or several treatments to correct any eye problems they identify during an exam, including:

glasses

medications

patching

Surgery

Orthoptics (eye exercises).

Children often don’t even realize when they’re experiencing eye trouble. Vision problems will heavily impact the daily life of children. Bad vision can even be painful, frequently causing swollen eyes and constant headaches. Vision plays a huge role in school- bad eyesight is a common culprit for children falling behind in learning.

According to Prevent Blindness America, one in four school-age kids have a vision disorder. Healthy eyes not only affect academic performance, but physical and cognitive development too.

While schools often offer free vision screenings, it should be noted that these aren’t the same as comprehensive eye exams. Vision screenings shouldn’t replace an appointment with a qualified eye care practitioner. Eye exams diagnose far more than the common refractive errors of near and farsightedness. A host of problems are commonly reported in children, including retinitis pigmentosa disease. Roughly 400,000 Americans have RP, a group of diseases causing the retina to deteriorate.

Untreated vision issues in children won’t go away, they’ll only get worse. Worst case scenario, vision problems lead to permanent vision loss.
There are simple things you can do to protect your child’s eye health. Nutritious meals, UV coated sunglasses, and visually stimulating toys like puzzles are techniques proven to be helpful for eye health. However, the best way to prevent eye problems from developing in kids is to visit your trusted eye care professionals.

Keep on the lookout for signs that your child is struggling with their vision:

  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Short attention span
  • Avoiding reading and other close activities
  • Frequent headaches
  • Covering one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Holding reading materials close to the face
  • An eye turning in or out
  • Seeing double
  • Losing place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what he or she read

As children grow, their eyes are constantly changing, making it vital that kids see an eye doctor regularly to keep their vision in check. It’s recommended that kids get an eye exam at least every two years. Contact the optometry specialists at Wisconsin Vision to schedule an eye exam and protect your child’s eye health.

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