Around 10 million school children in America have vision conditions that can negatively affect learning. This can be prevented by taking kids to get their first formal eye exam with an Eye Dr in an Eye Clinic BEFORE they enter school. A child’s first eye test with an Eye Doctor should be done between ages 3 and 4. At Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear, our Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden begins to see children at age 5-6.
A child does NOT need to be able to verbalize or know their alphabet for the examiner to perform a comprehensive eye examination. There are numerous eye charts for children!!
Allen and Lea charts have pictures or shapes on them that youngsters can identify. The Broken wheel chart allows the child to tell the examiner which wheel on the car is “broken” . The Tumbling E chart (also known as the illiterate chart) allows a child to just POINT in the direction that the “legs of the E” are pointing in.
Often our children can not express to us when they are having problems with their vision. They may not even realize that they are experiencing vision problems. Sometimes children will try to compensate for vision issues by closing one eye, rubbing their eyes excessively, squinting, skipping over words or loose their place when they are reading.
Kids may start having difficulty in school due to an “unknown” reason. A recent study indicated that up to 60 percent of youngsters that have been identified as “problem learners” or “learning disorder” actually suffer from an undetected visual condition.
Vision issues need to be detected and corrected before age 7 to prevent lifelong problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), learning disabilities and behavior problems.