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The Eye Exam

There’s More To A Child’s Learning Than Just 20/20 Vision

Vision Problems Do Affect Kids Learning

Many people don’t realize that the standard eye exam is hardly a comprehensive measure of sight as a whole. It tests visual acuity but does not examine the kind of eye movements necessary for reading, or consider all the nuanced ways in which the Oculomotor Sensory System OMS — that is, the eyes, the brain, and the body — works. Paradoxical though it seems, then, a child with 20/20 eyesight can still have vision-related learning problems — problems that exacerbate ADHD or a learning disability.

Why get an eye exam if your child has passed a vision screening?

People often misunderstand what passing a vision screening means. The information obtained from a vision screening is comparable to the information obtained from a blood pressure measurement. Your blood pressure may be in normal range, but that doesn’t mean that you do not have other health problems. It’s merely a single measure of one aspect of your overall health. Just like you need a complete physical to evaluate your total health, only a comprehensive eye and vision examination can evaluate your overall eye health and vision status. Vision screenings are there to indicate a vision problem, they are referred for further evaluation. A vision screening can’t be relied on to provide the same results as a comprehensive eye examination. Did you know that they often actually miss more than they find?
In some cases, vision screening may actually inhibit the early diagnosis of vision problems. Screenings can create a false sense of security for those individuals who “pass” the screening but who actually have a vision problem. These people are then less likely to receive treatment for their vision problem and it could become worse.

The Eye Exam: what is tested during an eye exam?

In addition to basic visual acuity (distance and near vision) an eye exam may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility:

  • Binocular vision: how the eyes work together as a team
  • Focusing
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Color Vision
  • Hand-eye Coordination
  • Tracking

The doctor will also examine the area around the eye and inside the eye to check for any eye diseases or health conditions. You should tell the doctor any relevant personal history of your child such as a premature birth, developmental delays, family history of eye problems, eye injuries or medications the child is taking. This would also be the time to address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem.

If the eye doctor does determine that your child has a vision problem, they may discuss a number of therapeutic options such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, an eye patch, vision therapy or Ortho-k, depending on the condition and the doctor’s specialty. Since some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible.

Now that you can see the importance of getting your child’s eyes checked by an eyecare professional, and have learned how it’s done, give us a call or send us a text at (512) 528-5528 to schedule your family’s eye appointments. We look forward to meeting you!