child at eye appointment

Eye Doctor Explains How Sight Can Impact School Performance

From our wellness partners at VSP Vision Care Inc.

My Secret Weapon for Preparing for Back-to-School Season

The mom in me resonates with pictures I find on social media…have you seen them? Disheveled parents looking dismayed because summer break is nipping at their heels. In the same shot, the kid(s) have a look of sheer bliss as summer break commences. Fast forward to back-to-school time and the same photos arise. However, the parents are seen jumping for joy, praising the back-to-school routine while the kids sulk with disappointment, lamenting the end of their summertime freedom.

I usually find comfort in the routine that the new school year brings. So often, this time is a reminder to prepare for the school year ahead, but also to navigate my family’s health and wellness.

As parents, our wish is to make sure our kids thrive and so often it starts with their health and wellness. We want our kids to eat the right foods, exercise, create healthy habits, experience self-confidence and achievement. But have you thought about their vision? A child’s eye health is essential for them to thrive not only in life, but also in school.

Speaking from experience, as a mom and an eye doctor, you would be surprised how many parents don’t think about their children’s vision primarily because they aren’t aware their kids are having trouble seeing. However, vision problems are all too common, as it is reported by Prevent Blindness America that 1 in 4 school age kids have a vision issue.

How your child’s brain processes visual information is a complex process. If your child isn’t seeing well, not using both eyes equally, or struggling to keep what he or she is reading clear, then the brain won’t process that information correctly. This can affect your child’s learning ability, personality and performance in school.

That is why it is so important that parents take their children for an eye exam with an eye doctor, even if they have had a school vision screening. While a school vision screening can catch bigger vision problems, many issues can go undetected with a screening alone. A comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist more accurately measures a child’s overall eye health by evaluating multiple aspects of a child’s vision; this includes the close-up skills essential for reading, tracking and focusing.

So how do we stay on top of our children’s eye health thus ensuring they thrive in life and school? When it comes to their vision, make it a priority! Utilizing the time during summer break is a great opportunity to make an eye-exam appointment before the back-to-school rush.

This is an article by VSP network eye doctor, Jennifer Wademan, OD. Dr. Wademan is a mom of two little girls and owner of Bidwell Optometry in Folsom, CA.