Pediatric Eye Exams: How They Are Important for Learning

Experts confirm that one in every 10 kids suffers from an eye or vision condition significant enough to impede their learning. Most kids don’t quickly realize if there are any abnormalities in their eyesight. If overlooked, these problems will not only affect their eye health. But it can also negatively impact their school performance.

Here’s why you should take your child for a regular pediatric eye examination:


Eye Problems Can Interfere with Academic Progress


Pediatric eye exams are important because your child needs different visual processing skills to perform well in school. These visual skills play a significant role in accomplishing countless learning tasks. Some of the most common visual skills include eye tracking, eye focusing, eye teaming, eye-hand coordination, and visual perception. If they have issues with any of these, your child will likely struggle with writing, reading, comprehension, and assignments. Their difficulty will cause them to become frustrated, which, in turn, can lead to poor educational performance.


Common Vision Problems That May Affect Learning


Vision is a complex process that uses both the eyes and the brain. The eyes identify the details relevant to a task. For example, during snack time, the teacher opens the drawer and asks your child to get a spoon. Your kid scans the compartments inside to find the utensils. Their brain processes what they see and sends instructions for their body to pick up the spoon.


Specific vision problems can affect your child’s visual input. Two of the most common learning-related vision issues are related to visual acuity and functional visual skills.


Visual Acuity Problems


These refer to issues that affect the clarity or sharpness of vision. Refractive errors are problems associated with a person’s ability to see small details. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Some eye health issues can also result in low vision. These include retinal diseases and ocular trauma, decreasing your child’s visual acuity and affecting their ability to learn.


Functional Vision Problems


These refer to problems that affect various specific functions as well as neurological control of your child’s eyes. These include problems with eye teaming, eye movements, and accommodation. If your kid suffers from a deficit in their functional vision, they may experience eyestrain, double vision, blurred vision, and headaches. All of these can have adverse effects on learning.


Vision Screening Is Not Enough


As you may have noticed, vision screenings are standard in many schools. The tests help identify any vision problems that your kid may have. But even if they pass their school-based vision screening, it’s still highly recommended to schedule a pediatric eye examination. Vision screenings should not be a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. This is because vision screenings don’t check for all the possible vision challenges that may affect your child. Unlike the school nurse or technicians, an eye doctor will have more access to clinical and diagnostic tools. They can also perform a thorough assessment to know for sure whether your kid has an eye health and vision problem.


Learn more about the importance of pediatric eye exams for learning, contact Omaha Primary Eye Care in Elkhorn, NE at (402) 383-0780.