Many parents schedule their child’s summer functional vision exam at the beginning of summer. But if time got away from you, we strongly recommend scheduling one before the new school year begins.
Vision is key for learning in multiple ways. First, and perhaps most obviously, if your child’s visual clarity is poor (nearsighted or farsighted), it will be difficult for them to read text in a book or on the chalkboard.
However, vision stretches beyond the clarity of vision, or “20/20” eyesight. It includes functional vision, which involves a person’s ability to use their eye movements, eye teaming and eye focusing to accurately perceive an object in space.
Often, we’ll see functional vision problems translate to academic struggles, such as with reading a line of text or tracking a ball through the air in gym class. Here are some other key symptoms of functional vision problems:
* Short attention span with reading and schoolwork
* Excessive squinting, blinking and/or closing or covering an eye
* Headaches in forehead or temple region
* Placing head close to book when reading
* Rubbing eyes when reading
Yet, just because your child doesn’t present one of these symptoms doesn’t mean they don’t have a functional vision problem. Many children unknowingly compensate for their vision problem, and as a result, issues don’t occur until they advance to a more challenging grade.
It’s for that reason we strongly recommend that every parent schedule a functional vision test for their child before summer is over. If the test reveals any functional vision problems, vision therapy can help correct the issue and maximize your child’s academic potential.
Here are three reasons to start vision therapy as soon as you identify a vision problem.
3 Reasons to Combat Vision Problems With Vision Therapy
1. The vision problem won’t go away on its own - Vision problems don’t fade with time. If your child began struggling with school last year due to a vision problem, you can bet their challenges will continue - or even worsen - next year. Intervening as soon as possible is the best way get them back on the road towards academic success.
2. Classes will only get tougher - One reason that vision problems are overlooked in young children is because they’re able to easily handle elementary subject material despite their vision problem.
However, as they progress each year, subjects begin to incorporate more reading, tougher math and a heavier homework load. If the child’s functional vision problems aren’t addressed, they’ll only struggle more with each passing grade. Eventually, as they fall further behind, we often see behavioral problems begin to arise.
3. Vision therapy is proven to help - Developmental optometrists have known for some time that while vision may seem like it occurs in the eyes, it really happens in the brain. In fact, vision is a neurological process that is connected with most other areas of the brain.
That’s why our highly-customized activities and exercises aren’t limited to the eyes. Vision therapy exercises incorporate the entire body to improve the coordination between the visual system and the rest of the body.
These techniques, which include lenses, prisms and other specialized equipment, can treat a wide array of vision problems.
Life is only going to get more hectic once the school year starts, so don’t push off scheduling your child’s functional vision exam. If a functional vision problem is revealed, beginning vision therapy as soon as possible can help improve your child’s vision, academic success and life.