Don’t forget that back-to-school eye exam

Don’t forget that back-to-school eye exam

 

 Quinlyn Kennel daughter of Dr. Melinda Kennel sporting her iCarly glasses.

Well, it is that time of year again-the time where parents begin thinking about back to school issues such as kids clothing and back to school supplies. However, something else we should be thinking about as parents is that back to school eye exam. You child’s eye doctor will perform a thorough evaluation that not only includes testing how clearly they see, but also whether there are any other vision disorders that could get in the way of learning. These other disorders can include uncorrected hyperopia, accommodative insufficiency, and convergence insufficiency or excess.

A child with significant amounts of uncorrected hyperopia, or farsightedness, can actually have 20/20, yet complain of headaches, eyestrain, or a dislike of reading. This is a result of the excessive and constant overuse of the eye’s focusing muscles. After awhile, the child becomes uninterested in reading and grades can suffer.

Accommodative insufficiency is when the eye’s focusing muscles are abnormally weak. Again a child can have 20/20 vision at distance with this condition, but anytime the child tries to focus up close (such as for reading a book) the eyes get tired much more quickly than normal. This too can lead to a dislike of reading and poor grades in school.

Convergence insufficiency or excess is when the eyes don’t work well together. Convergence insufficiency occurs when the eyes do not converge enough when reading. Convergence excess can be present when the eyes converge, or cross inwards too much for comfortable reading. With either of these situations, the child can experience blurred or double vision when reading, headaches, or eye fatigue-also associated with reading.

All of these conditions can be diagnosed by a thorough eye exam with your child’s eye care provider. Be sure to mention to him or her if your child is complaining of any of the symptoms mentioned above as there are specific tests which can be helpful in detecting these problems.

Finally, the above eye conditions can sometimes produce ADD/ADHD-like behavioral symptoms in children. If your child displays hyperactivity, poor concentration or restless behavior particularly in school, a good idea is to start with an eye exam. Treating the eye condition may lessen or even eliminate the ADD/ADHD symptoms.

Contact Dr. Sanger or Dr. Kennel for more information AND don’t forget to call Prairie EyeCare Center, PC today (308)872-2291 to schedule your appointment.

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