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The Importance of Vision Screening for Children

How to Identify a Child in Need

Vision problems have been shown to adversely affect a child’s achievement in school. Myopic children have trouble reading blackboard notes or other classroom presentation materials. Hyperopic children will have trouble reading or doing any kind of close work.

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Additionally, several types of eye disorders can lead to permanent visual impairment if not identified and treated early by an eye doctor. Vision problems can and do adversely affect students’ ability to function in and enjoy learning. What can teachers do to help children who may be struggling with a vision condition?

How to Identify a Child in Need

The following may be indicative of a child experiencing a vision problem:

  • Eyes turning inward or outward
  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Worsening academic performance
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Losing place while reading
  • Avoiding close work
  • Holding reading material closer than normal
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Eyes tiring while reading or doing other schoolwork
  • Turning or tilting head to use one eye only
  • Making frequent reversals when reading or writing
  • Using finger to maintain place while reading
  • Consistently performing below potential

If you have a student who is exhibiting these behaviors, it may be due to a vision problem. It is important that you work with the child's parent or guardian to ensure that the child has an eye exam by an eye doctor.

Vision Screening: A First Step

School vision screenings are important and can help to detect eye conditions that are defined as “commonly occurring,” meaning that they occur in more than 1% of the target population. Early detection of vision problems has a demonstrated impact on quality of life for students,especially in the case of color-blindness, which is often not assessed “in any other venue except as necessary for entry into certain occupations.”Although traditional school vision screenings have focused on myopia (nearsightedness, or lack of clear distance vision), children need to receive an eye exam by an eye doctor in a clinical setting that can detect issues with distance vision, close vision, color detection, and binocular vision.

Source: buniteforsight

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