At Howerton Eye, our highly trained eye doctors know the importance of regular eye examinations, especially for young children! With the first day of school upon us, now is the perfect time to start thinking about scheduling an eye appointment for your child.

According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have eye or vision problems, yet children this age generally will not voice complaints about their eyesight!

Your child’s eyes are constantly in use at school, and when his or her vision is not functioning properly, education and participation can suffer. From reading and writing, to chalkboard work and using computers, 75% – 90% of your child’s ability to learn comes from eyesight. Common vision problems, such as color blindness, astigmatisms, and near or far sightedness, are all significant eyesight complications that can impact your child’s ability to absorb information in the classroom… Which is why it’s critical to get your child’s eyesight checked before classwork begins!

Vision Skills Needed for Success at School

Beyond the basic function of seeing clearly, there are many other visual skills that work hand-in-hand to support academic success. In combination with clear vision, adequate visual capabilities will allow your child to absorb information and accurately respond to questions. These visual skills include the ability to focus the eyes, use both eyes as a team, and move them effectively. Other visual perceptual skills include:

  • Recognition – Your child’s ability to tell the difference between letters like “b” and “d”
  • Comprehension – Your child’s ability to conceptualize or picture ideas in his or her mind
  • Retention – Your child’s ability to remember and recall details of what is seen and/or read

Signs It’s Time for an Eye Exam

Children with serious vision problems are unlikely to tell their teachers or parents about it, as they don’t realize the source of the problem. It’s crucial, therefore, for adults to watch for symptoms such as:

  • Sitting close to the TV, or holding a book too close
  • Squinting
  • Consistent tilting of the head
  • Frequently rubbing their eyes
  • Short attention span
  • Turning of an eye, in or out
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding
  • Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles, and other detailed activities

Comprehensive Eye Exams at Howerton Eye

It’s important to understand that a vision screening done by your child’s pediatrician or school nurse is not as extensive as an eye examination at Howerton Eye. Standard vision screenings are a limited process, overlooking as much as 60% of children with serious vision problems. Passing a basic vision screening can give parents a false sense of security, as many of these tests only assess one or two areas of vision.

Unlike these basic screenings, a comprehensive eye exam at Howerton Eye involves checking for color blindness, eye alignment (teaming), ocular motility (tracking), and depth perception issues. In addition to doing a standard “Tumbling E” visual acuity test, one of the expert eye doctors at our Austin, Southwest Austin, or Kyle, TX locations will ensure that the structures of your child’s eye look normal and healthy. With today’s diagnostic equipment and tests, a child does not have to know the alphabet or how to read to have his or her eyes examined!

Contact Your Austin, Southwest Austin, & Kyle, TX Eye Doctor Today!

Howerton Eye has three locations in Austin, Southwest Austin, and Kyle to ensure that plenty of students receive back-to-school eye exams! All three of our offices are designed with your well-being in mind, utilizing state-of-the-art-equipment to ensure all patients receive the best treatments possible.

Good vision is critical for success at school, so don’t wait until it’s too late to schedule a back-to-school eye appointment for your child! And for any questions or concerns regarding your child’s eyesight, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our staff members today!