The Importance Of Annual Eye Exams For Children
This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own. #ThinkAboutYourEyes #IC
My oldest daughter Skye is an ambitious 5th grader that loves school and does exceptionally well… but it wasn’t always that way. Three years ago she was struggling in school and I was getting notes home and emails consistently from her teachers informing me that she was talking to her neighbors during class and would not stop. I couldn’t understand why my daughter could do all of her school work without ease when working with me at home, but was getting bad grades and constantly being disciplined for talking in class.
My daughter was being labeled a nuisance and it was breaking my heart because she was far from that!
We ended up moving across the country to Georgia at the end of her year when she was in second grade, where she continued to face similar issues. What we discovered the following year is that every school in our new city required mandatory eye exams at the beginning of the year. During her first week of third grade, she came home with a letter from the school state that she had failed her eye exam and needed to see an eye doctor. I was shocked… why as her mother… did I not realize she couldn’t see!? After getting her eye exam they determined that her vision was poor enough that she needed to wear glasses regularly.
The day my daughter picked up her new glasses, her life completely transformed! Turn out that all that talking during class… it wasn’t her chatting with her classmates about the latest trend… it was her simple asking what the teacher was writing on the board! She couldn’t read the board! I think back to all those years when she was being disciplined for simply wanting to know what was being written on the board and I am angry at myself for not figuring it out sooner. Brings me to tears. I am happy to report that she is now one of the most well behaved students, her teachers over the years (since getting glasses) constantly tell me what I quite and polite student she is. She achieved high honors in third grade and honor roll status for fourth grade. The only thing that was holding er back from being a succeeding student was glasses… and that my friends is why getting yearly eye exams for your child is so incredibly important!
Did you know that the month of August is Eye Exam Awareness? By getting an annual comprehensive eye exam, your child’s eye problems can be detected at early stages when they’re most treatable and before it poses a challenge for them in school… which unfortunately is what happened to my daughter. Approximately 80% of everything a child learns comes through their eyes, yet 86% of children do not receive a comprehensive eye exam during that period. Experts say that 5%-10% of preschoolers and 25% of school-aged children have eye problems.
Early identification of a child’s vision problems is crucial as, if untreated, can cause permanent vision loss. I highly recommend that you schedule a comprehensive eye exam before school starts in the fall because this allows for an optometrist to catch and correct any vision problems that may interfere with learning. PLEASE don’t wait for your child to say they aren’t seeing well, as you can see from my personal experience, my daughter never once brought up that fact that she couldn’t see. Children don’t know or understand what “normal” vision is, so they don’t know to tell their parent’s they are having vision problems. Nearly 24% of parents wait for their child to have symptoms before taking them to an eye doctor and by then, they may have gotten behind in school. Sadly only 40% of parents feel that an eye exam is a key part of a child’s healthy checkup schedule, yet roughly 80% say an annual trip to the dentist and pediatrician are essential. This needs to change.
Don’t wait until you suspect your child is having vision problems, make annual eye exams for your child mandatory! Visit the Think About Your Eyes eye care professional locator to find an eye doctor near you and schedule an exam for your child today. Learn from my personal experience and bring your child to have their eyes examined annually by an eye care professional.