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Start School Right with Eye Exams for Kids!

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Learning Begins with A+ Vision

One of the best ways to help your child succeed in school is with a back to school eye exam. Throughout the past year, your child probably grew a size or two. The clothes that fit last spring may already be snug. Well, just like kids’ bodies change and grow, so do their eyes. However, it isn’t always easy for parents or children to notice vision changes. Your child needs a thorough, professional eye exam to detect a vision problem.

Visual skills progress rapidly throughout the early years. For example, focusing abilities (accommodation) and eye mobility need to grow stronger and more coordinated. When this development doesn’t happen, it can compromise basic learning skills, such as reading and writing. To make sure your children are fully equipped for the new school year, our Salt Lake City eye doctor assigns the first homework – bring your kids to our eye care clinic for a friendly, gentle, and comprehensive eye exam!

Don’t Wait for a Problem

It is common for kids not to complain when they can’t see perfectly. Just because your child doesn’t come home saying that the classroom board is blurry or the computer screen isn’t clear, it doesn’t mean that their vision is acute. Only a qualified eye doctor can detect the signs of many pediatric vision conditions. Why wait until your young student is struggling to keep up in school? Call our Salt Lake City optometry office today.

Eye Exams Check Much More than 20/20 Vision

Many parents ask us why their child needs an eye exam if the school nurse performs vision screening? Basically, vision screening involves having kids stand at a certain distance and read a basic eye chart of letters and numbers hung on the wall. This is a direct way to check for myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. However, vision is made up of many more parts that cannot be evaluated with this type of test.

In contrast, our Salt Lake City eye doctor also checks for problems with focusing, tracking, convergence, eye-hand coordination, visual processing, and lazy eye (amblyopia). All of these skills are essential for the visual system to function at top efficiency. When learning in school, all of these visual skills are needed for kids to master reading, writing, arithmetic, and coordinated performance in sports or on the playground.

Kids and Myopia

Myopia, nearsightedness, is the most common vision condition diagnosed in children.  When you have myopia, you can see objects up close but everything far away will appear blurry. In the classroom, this means your student may have trouble seeing what the teacher is writing on the board or displaying on a screen.

Eyeballs come in various shapes, and myopia occurs because of either an elongated eyeball (similar to a football shape) or a cornea that is too curved. These irregularities affect the path of light when it enters the eye, and therefore the light is not focused properly on the retina. The result is blurred vision.

Is myopia prevention possible?

Usually, nearsightedness is diagnosed during a child’s elementary school years. As the eye grows, myopia tends to grow and worsen too. Genetics are the major determinant behind myopia, yet the rate of progression appears to be affected heavily by how kids use their eyes. Children who spend hours staring at a digital screen (be it a computer, tablet, smartphone…), avid bookworms, or kids who do any fine work for long spans, may all be at an increased risk of myopia.

Therefore, one method of myopia prevention is to encourage your child to spend more time outdoors! Physical activity and playing in fresh air is healthy for the whole body, and switching your focus between near and far has tremendous benefits for the eyes.

Does myopia control work?

If your child needs a stronger vision prescription every year, our Salt Lake City eye doctor may recommend myopia control, which can slow down the progression of nearsightedness. At present, a few myopia control options exist. The most popular is orthokeratology, ortho-k lenses. These specialized hard contact lenses are worn while sleeping, and they gently reshape the cornea. As they mold the eyeball’s surface, ortho-k lenses have demonstrated success in slowing the growth of kids’ eyes. This reduces existing myopia and diminishes the progression.

Other myopia control options include atropine eye drops and wearing bifocal contact lenses. To learn more, please meet with our optometrist for a consultation.

Score High with Back to School Eye Exams!

Pediatric eye exams are the first step towards helping your child enjoy crisp, clear, and healthy vision. To help your child excel in school, on the sports field, and across the board in life – book an appointment at Magna Family Eyecare.

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