It’s late summer and that means your kids are going back to school soon. Well, that is what it would mean for every other year, but this year is quite different. This year, they’re going back to HOME school, and attending classes remotely via Zoom or some other meeting or classroom tool. And with this huge change in education, comes a huge change in lifestyle for you, your student, and the whole family. But what remains the same is that you need to prepare for the new school year like you always did, and that means that your child needs a back to school eye exam. Or, more accurately, a back to (Home) school eye exam!
Why Everyone Needs Regular Eye Exams
Everyone needs regular eye exams because eyes age just like the rest of your body ages. But the eyes are prone to many diseases that not only get worse over time, but can be easily detected with regular checkups. By detecting them early, their progress can be tracked and (in many cases) can be stopped altogether.
Progressive eye diseases include Glaucoma, Lazy Eyes, Misaligned Eyes, Myopia, Hyperopia, Damaged Corneas, Dry Eyes, Keratoconus, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Retinal Tears or Breaks and many others.
Some of these conditions can ultimately cause blindness, and so diagnosing and stopping them early is critical to preserving your child’s vision.
But eye exams can also reveal other health conditions that require treatment. The most common way that Diabetes — including Juvenile Diabetes — is first diagnosed is through an eye exam. High Blood Pressure is also found in a retinal exam, as is High Cholesterol. Everyone needs an eye exam as a part of general health maintenance.
School Success At Any Age Starts With A Back To School Eye Exam
A high percentage of children with behavior problems also have vision problems. And children with undiagnosed vision problems often exhibit many of the same symptoms associated with ADHD, Dyslexia and speech problems.
In a 15-year long study of children in San Bernardino Juvenile Hall, Dr. Kristy Remick noticed that there was a much higher incidence of vision problems among the residence population. And among that same population, 90% of the children there were repeat offenders. Once Dr. Remick instituted a vision correction program, the incidence of repeat offenders dropped to 15% to those who participated.
It stands to reason that catching and correcting vision problems early can help to increase the odds of success in school and career, and greatly reduce the chance of a trouble-filled life.
You might ask your child’s previous teachers if he or she was often squinting, holding books or other objects very close, loses attention, rubbed their eyes, or complained of headaches, dizziness or nausea while in school.
All of those — in addition to poor grades — can be signs of vision problems, and if your children have vision problems, and they go undiagnosed and untreated, they are more likely to have behavior, social and education problems.
Why Your Child Needs a Back To (Home) School Eye Exam
This year, when your children are learning from home on small screens, you need to take new precautions. Myopia has become the far less talked-about Global Epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that 2.5 billion people worldwide will have the eye disease by 2050. When it’s mentioned by its less threatening name — Nearsightedness — it sounds rather tame. But Myopia in children can lead to all the same behavioral and education problems mentioned above, and could even result in a greater chance of severe vision problems for your children if not properly diagnosed and treated.
Myopia is usually caused by an elongation of the eye so that the lens focuses light in front of the retina, instead of on the retina. It’s root cause is often genetic, but it is made much worse by working indoors, focusing on small screens, and less time spent outside and focusing on distant objects. And these are exactly the conditions your child will be experiencing in home/remote school this year. When untreated, focusing on near items causes the eye to elongate further, which can ultimately result in a greater chance of detached retinas, glaucoma and abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes, all of which can lead to blindness.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have predicted that Myopia will worsen during quarantine. Then in May, the US National Library of the of Medicine, a part of the National Institute of Health, published a paper that says that home confinement — including home schooling — due to the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to “worsen the global burden of myopia”.
When caught early, Myopia treatments are quite simple and painless, often consisting of therapeutic contact lenses, special eye drops and/or environmental and habitual changes. But you won’t know if your child needs these treatments unless your child is first diagnosed, which is why a Back To (Home) School Eye Exam is so important right now.
Schedule Your Back To School Eye Exams Today
As the school year approaches, our office will become more and more crowded with back to school eye exam appointments, so it’s best to schedule your children’s appointments sooner rather than later. Our office is now open for routine eye exams, and we’ve created a COVID-safe eye exam protocol in our office to help keep our patients and staff safe. First time patients are certainly welcome! And you can make your appointment online or call our office at 818-891-6711.