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Make an Eye Exam Part of Your Back To School List

August 20th 2019

The summer is dwindling down, and if you are a parent, you’ve probably got the first day of school on your mind. We all have our back to school shopping lists: school supplies, new backpack and lunch kits, new clothes and shoes, classroom fees, transportation fees, etc. But one major thing missing from that list is a comprehensive eye examination from an optometrist!

Children's eyes can change rapidly as their bodies grow, so it is important to have their eyes examined by an optometrist every year! Luckily, Alberta Health Care covers annual eye exams for children until their 19th birthday!

Your child's vision is crucial to his or her overall health.

A school aged child's eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and on the playground. Several different visual skills must work together so a child can see and understand completely.  As education has become increasingly digital, students are switching from whiteboards to computer screens to mobile devices to books, all in the course of a school day. Making sure their vision is clear and consistent as they learn should be a priority for long-term development.
Basic visual skills essential for learning:

  • Near vision
  • Distance vision
  • Depth perception
  • Eye movement
  • Focusing skills
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Eye/hand coordination
Regular exams help ensure your child's eyes are performing all these essentials skills so their school days are happier, healthier, and free of headaches and possibly injury that can occur because of poor vision.

As 80% of a child's learning is based on vision, one-in-four school aged children have a vision problem. Undetected and untreated vision problems can elicit some of the same signs and symptoms that are commonly attributed to other development issues such as ADHD, dyslexia and speech problems. Your child may not realize they have a vision problem as they may simply assume everyone sees the way that they do. And it is not uncommon for parents to believe they would know if their child has a vision problem, because these issues can be hard to spot.

Even though many kids won’t complain of problems with their eyes, there are a few symptoms parents should look out for:
  • red, itchy or watering eyes, or sensitivity to light
  • an eye that consistently turns in or out
  • tilting the head when looking at something or reading
  • rubbing the eyes or excessive blinking
  • losing place when reading, or avoiding books
  • covering or closing one eye or squinting
  • holding objects very close
Be sure to schedule your child in for their comprehensive eye examination before the school year gets under way!

We hope you enjoy the last few remaining weeks of summer Calgary! cool

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