Alamo Optometry Blog

September 18, 2011

School Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — gkblog @ 7:12 pm

School Time and Discounted Student’s Eye Exams

 (As appeared in Alamo Today, August 2011, pg. 29)

Now that we are in August, it is the time as parents where we start turning our attention to back to school for kids of all ages from elementary school to college and graduate school.  Besides stocking up on clothes and school supplies, this usually also includes visits to your child’s pediatrician, dentist, and optometrist.  Since we believe strongly in early detection and treatment, we are offering 20% off a student’s exam and glasses in the month of August.  This cannot be used in conjunction with any insurance benefits.  School these days is difficult enough for our kids so we need to make sure they have the necessary tools and vision to start off the year on the right foot.

            Vision at school requires several tasks to manage to be successful.  This includes sharp distance vision to be able to read the board and/or overhead, good near vision and binocular vision (eye teaming) to be able to read and study for long periods at a time, and depending on the class, the ability to go back and forth from the board or overhead to up close to take notes on paper or computer with ease.  In addition to these visual requirements, the eyes also need to be healthy to be able to sustain these demands.  Conditions such as dry eyes induced from allergies or medications, and the itching and tearing from seasonal allergies can hinder vision and thus needed to be diagnosed and addressed. 

            It is for these reasons that your child’s eyes should be checked by an eye care professional.  School and pediatrician screenings usually only test distance vision and does not address health issues of the eye and does not address near vision, depth perception, and binocular vision.  Many times a child (or adult for that matter) has “good vision” but is still having issues with near work which can include blurry vision, double vision, headaches, and overall difficulty sustaining up-close work for any period of time.  Obviously all reading issues are not caused by vision and/or binocular vision conditions, but that should be the first place you should check out to make sure all is well.

            In addition to school and homework, most children are involved in school and/or recreational sports and extra-curricular activities.  Whether your child is involved in soccer, football, dance, or cheerleading, these all require good vision and ocular health to be able to succeed.  If there is vision correction required, many parents and kids are opting for contact lenses.  Activities are often difficult to fully participate in while wearing glasses, and contact lenses allow for good vision as well as peripheral vision, and you are not hindered by the frame.  Most patients are good candidates for contacts; however, since there is work to learn to adapt to the lenses and to be able to put them on and off, motivation on the part of the child is paramount.  If he or she is not really interested in contacts, I recommend starting the process of training and follow-ups when they are ready to tackle it.  It is also helpful if a family member already wears contacts to be able to help out as needed.  However, it is the child that needs to have the responsibility of keeping their hands clean, cleaning and storing the lenses as needed, and inserting and removing the contacts.

            It is recommended for vision and ocular health changes that patients get an annual eye exam.  The testing we do at the office goes much more in depth and covers more than pediatrician and school screenings.  We hope that if you do not have any vision insurance that you take advantage of our back to school offer.  We are a family-centered practice and we look forward to seeing the entire family in the office soon.

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