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Back to School Advice: Do Those Free Vision Tests Work?

Moffatt Eye Care

BACK TO SCHOOL VISION SCREENINGS

We all remember standing behind some crudely placed tape on the floor in the nurse’s office, trying to make out the tiny black letters on that infamous white chart. For many students, this examination is the only technique used to check their eyesight before they begin their academic careers. However, it falls short of an examination done by an eye care professional. Poor vision can prevent your child from achieving their potential academically.

Unfortunately, these tests are far behind our current knowledge of how eye problems can develop later. These tests do nothing to show us warning signs of problems nor do they test for several eye conditions. Diagnostic eye exams are crucial to your child’s learning ability. These free vision tests are often performed by untrained volunteers who do not know how to truly assess your child’s vision.

BINOCULAR VISION

Free vision screenings don’t test for binocular vision. Binocular vision is the ability for the eyes to efficiently create a singular image. When your child begins to read, this is a crucial aspect of how quickly they scan and understand the words on the page. A professional eye exam can quickly assess your child’s ability, as well as provide techniques for therapy if need be.

Learning is done visually by students and this method is only increasing with the rapid rise of online learning. It is important for children to routinely undergo comprehensive eye examinations by an optometrist. Increased screen time can aggravate current conditions, and worsen developing ones, so the frequency of exams can make a huge difference.

We’re moving from blurry blackboards to blurry computer screens. Children should have their first professional eye exam far before preschool. Annual vision screenings starting at 6 months of age ensure that any problems are detected and treated before they lead to learning or developmental issues in school.

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