November 19, 2017

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Back-to-School Eye Exams: Good Vision is Important for a Successful School Year

Dr. Scott Hagen helps fit a Redwood Falls area student with a new pair of glasses.

Dr. Scott Hagen helps fit a Redwood Falls area student with a new pair of glasses.

Summer is almost over and across the state back-to-school season is in full swing. There’s a lot to think about when you’re preparing to send your children back to school: school supplies, sleeping routines, one more summer getaway. But have you scheduled a vision exam? The American Optometric Association recommends this important checkup for every child before the school year starts.

Nearly 70 percent of children identified as students with learning disabilities have undiagnosed vision problems. Many school subjects demand visual skills like reading, writing and computer work, and children are required to perform them daily. But a complete, comprehensive eye exam can correct vision problems which results in greater success in the classroom.

A back-to-school vision exam isn’t much different from a typical eye exam. We’ll examine the health of your child’s eyes and check to see if a prescription is needed. In children it’s important to check if their eyes are focusing well together, so we will always look for signs of a lazy or wandering eye, which can affect depth perception and eye coordination.

A child’s vision may change frequently, which is why regular eye and vision care is crucial to classroom success.


Dr. Scott T. Hagen, OD, MS, Optometry, ACMC-Redwood Falls

 Scott T. Hagen, OD, MS, Optometry, ACMC-Redwood Falls

We recommend that your child see an optometrist every one to two years. School vision screenings are important, but you should note that they differ from a comprehensive, diagnostic exam and should not take the place of a comprehensive vision test. A screening is used to detect potential disease indicators, which a diagnostic exam will actually establish whether or not the disease is present.

Don’t wait for obvious signs of an eye or vision problem before scheduling your child’s next vision exam. If you notice these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

  • Frequent headaches or eye strain
  • Constant eye rubbing
  • Extreme light sensitivity
  • Chronic redness of the eyes
  • Chronic tearing of the eyes
  • A white pupil instead of black
  • Blurring of distance or near vision, particularly after reading or other close work
  • Difficulty changing focus from distance to near and back
  • Poor judgment of depth
  • Turning of an eye in or out, up or down
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty following a moving target
  • Dizziness or motion sickness
  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty copying from one place to another
  • Can respond orally but can’t get the same information down on paper
  • Letter and word reversals
  • Difficulty judging sizes and shapes
  • Sitting too close to the TV
  • Squinting

Back-to-school eye exams are a simple way to help your child perform better in the classroom. Let the school year begin!