Parents are sure to check off that new backpack and new shoes for their kid’s first day of school, but teachers say that most miss an important task to ensure learning success – a visit to their Optometrist for an eye exam.
According to an American Optometric Association (AOA) survey of K-12 teachers, 81 percent believe vision and learning are interdependent.
“Healthy vision is critical to learning and excelling in school. Comprehensive eye exams should be performed to detect problems like astigmatism, eye coordination, and moderate amounts of farsightedness, conditions that can prohibit optimal learning,” said AOA vision & learning specialist Dr. Pamela Lowe.
Many experts believe that approximately 80 percent of learning – reading, writing, and computer work – depends on good eyesight. And as classrooms adopt technologically advanced tools like interactive blackboard presentations, the need for excellent eyesight will increase.
“One child in four needs glasses or contacts to perform at his or her best in school, and that is why for a decade we have set aside two Saturdays – this year August18 and September 8 – for school eye exams,” said Brian Kane, an Optometrist with the Family EyeCare Clinic in Painesville and Willoughby. “Our goal is to make certain that learning is maximized with good vision. Here are some of the tests we give to ensure that students perform at their best in school, and avoid behavior problems.”
- We make sure eyes focus on a specific object and can easily shift focus from one object to another, such as from a book to the blackboard and back.
- We measure visual acuity at several distances to make sure that students can comfortably and efficiently read, work on the computer, and see the blackboard.
- We check depth perception and “binocular fusion,” so the brain can fuse the pictures it receives from each eye into a single image.
- We test whether the child can track across a page accurately and efficiently while reading, and copy material quickly and easily from the blackboard or another piece of paper.
- We test preschoolers’ color vision, because a large part of early education involves the use of color identification.
The Family EyeCare Clinic will hold special Kids Days from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the following days:
Saturday August 18, 2012 at the Painesville, Ohio, practice,77 Normandy Drive Phone 440-352-0616
Saturday, September 8, 2012 at the Willoughby, Ohio practice, 37131 Euclid Avenue Phone 440-946-8809
Source: Family EyeCare Clinic, Edited by Stefanie A. Toth, Editor