One-quarter of school-age children suffer from a vision problem, but without a comprehensive eye exam, these issues can be misdiagnosed as a learning disorder. Before your kids go back to school this year, take them for a full optometric examination to cover all of the following tests, named by the American Optometric Society and All About Vision.
The visual acuity test — an evaluation of distance and near vision — is what many people think of as the eye test itself. If your kids know the alphabet, they will use a lettered chart, whereas younger kids use LEA symbols.
Your doctor will make an external examination of the cornea, eyelids, conjunctiva, and eye tissue to look for bumps, eye discharge, swelling, and infected eyelash follicles. He or she will also check the lens, retina, and internal structure for cloudiness or abnormalities. This can provide an early diagnosis for eye disease and enable early treatment.
Eye Movement and Teaming
Your child’s eyes need to move and work together to create a clear image. Your doctor will use tests such as Random Dot Stereopsis for teaming (with dotted patterns and 3D glasses) and convergence tests to check the eyes’ ability to maintain alignment when reading.
Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, occurs when one eye is weaker than the other. If your child is found to be showing early symptoms, your optometrist will most likely prescribe patching of the stronger eye to help strengthen the weaker.
Your optometrist will check for any misalignment in the eyes (called strabismus), which requires treatment in early childhood to ensure eye teaming develops correctly.
Color Blind Tests
Your doctor may also test for color blindness. It is important to know if your child is able to perceive every color, as this can have an impact on learning at school.
Optometric exams are not the only way to keep your children’s eyes and vision healthy — you should also ensure that your kids wear shades whenever they head outdoor. Choose from a wide range of children’s sunglasses in the Real Kids collection.