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Make Eye Exams Part of the Back to School Routine
Date:8/4/2009

sion may be impaired.

The AOA recommends that parents contact their doctor of optometry if their child frequently:

  • Loses place while reading
  • Avoids close work
  • Tends to rub eyes
  • Has headaches
  • Turns or tilts head
  • Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
  • Uses finger to maintain place when reading
  • Omits or confuses small words when reading
  • Consistently performs below potential
  • Struggles to complete homework
  • Squints while reading or watching television
  • Has behavioral problems
  • Holds reading material closer than normal

Many parents are not as aware of the less obvious warning signs of eye and vision problems. The Eye-Q(R) survey found that only one-third of parents identified using a finger while reading (31 percent) or behavioral problems (35 percent) as potential signs of a vision impairment.

"It is especially important to monitor the signs and symptoms of vision problems as a student progresses in school," said Dr. Earley. "If a child's vision is impaired, increasing visual demands such as smaller print in textbooks or additional homework can significantly alter a student's performance. And, new technology changes in the classroom, such as the use of interactive whiteboards, can also potentially exacerbate less obvious vision problems. Without healthy vision, students may suffer not only in the classroom, but also mentally, physically and emotionally."

Studies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as "problem learners" actually suffer from undetected vision problems and in some cases have been inaccurately diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The earlier a vision problem is detected and
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SOURCE American Optometric Association
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