Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

I C U – Vision screening for kids

April 2003 Issue

A Growing Problem
Mold in Your Home

Little Shutterbugs
Introducing Kids
to Photography

Genealogy for Kids

SUV Safety

Vision Screening
for Kids

Did You Know?

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The gift of sight is precious and establishing a regular schedule of eye care and vision screening will put your child on a lifelong path of health. According to the American Optometric Association, an estimated 25 percent of school-age children have vision problems and only one third of all children have had an eye examination prior to entering school. With good vision playing a vital role in reading and other developmental skills, early testing and correction plays a monumental role in a child’s development. Undetected vision problems can prevent a child from reaching his or her potential.

Although vision screening is often conducted in the school system, the AOA also recommends that children (even those showing no obvious vision problems) should have a comprehensive examination at age 3 followed by another examination before first grade. In normal cases, regular examinations should be conducted every 2 years to monitor visual acuity and eye health. If any problem exists, examination frequency should be determined by the child’s doctor of optometry.

According to the AOA, some of the common vision problems an optometrist will be able to identify during an examination include:

 
    

Amblyopia – better known as "lazy eye". A condition where an otherwise healthy eye doesn’t receive adequate use in early childhood and the stronger eye suppresses the image from the weaker.

   

Astigmatism – vision is affected by an irregularly shaped front corneal surface.

    

Color deficiency – this is an inability or difficulty in distinguishing between certain colors.

Eye coordination – each eye sees a slightly different image and through fusion, the brain combines the images into a three-dimensional picture. Poor eye coordination can stem from weak eye muscles or poor vision development.

Hyperopia – farsightedness

Myopia – nearsightedness

Strabismus – one eye does not aim at the same object being viewed as the other eye. The affected eye may turn inward or outward.

Vision dysfunctions – eyes are unable to function properly for a specific task (focusing, eye teaming, eye movement).

Visual motor evaluation – a series of tests to measure eye performance under a variety of functions required in daily life.


Enable your child to reach his or her full potential by establishing a regular schedule of eye care in childhood that will continue throughout life.

Did You Know?
According to the American Optometric Association, only 33 states and the District of Columbia have established requirements for vision screening in public or private schools.

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