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The Importance of Regular Eye Exams for Children

One out of every four children has some kind of vision problem, yet only 50 percent of parents with children under the age of 12 have taken their children to an eye care professional. Vision problems can cause serious educational and developmental delays, but many children struggle needlessly because they don’t even know they have one. So, it is important for parents to understand the difference between eye exams and vision screenings, and why regular eye exams are necessary for their child's health and development.

What Is a Vision Screening?
A vision screening is a quick test that looks at your child’s overall vision acuity, or how well your child can see from a distance. It does not check for any other types of visual impairments such as nearsightedness or astigmatism. A vision screening also does not check for any eye health issues like lazy eye or crossed eyes. If a vision screening indicates that your child may have an issue with his or her eyesight, then you should seek out an optometrist or ophthalmologist right away to get a full eye exam.

The Benefits of Regular Eye Exams
Unlike a vision screening which generally looks at just one part of your child’s eyesight, a comprehensive eye exam includes tests that look at all aspects of your child’s eyesight including acuity (distance), depth perception, color perception, peripheral vision (side-to-side) and near vision (reading). It also checks for any signs of disease or abnormalities in the eyes like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. Regular eye exams help detect these conditions early on so that treatment can be started as soon as possible before any permanent damage occurs.  In addition to detecting potential health problems in the eyes, regular eye exams can also help improve your child’s reading comprehension by correcting near-vision issues such as farsightedness and astigmatism which often go undetected during a standard school vision screening.
Eye Health And Developmental Milestones
It is important to remember that our eyes are vital parts of our bodies and are connected to our overall physical health. Our ability to see clearly affects how we learn new information, interact with the world around us and develop healthy habits over time. Therefore it is essential that you take your child in for regular comprehensive eye exams so that any potential problems can be caught early on and treated before they become serious issues later in life. It is also important to keep track of your child’s developmental milestones when it comes to their vision since most childhood learning disabilities are caused by undiagnosed visual impairments such as lazy eye or crossed eyes which can only be detected 

Setting up regular comprehensive eye exams for your children is an important step towards ensuring that they will have healthy sight now and into adulthood. With early detection via these exams, many issues such as lazy eye or farsightedness can be corrected before they become more serious problems later down the road which makes them invaluable tools for improving both physical health and academic performance in school age children . So if you haven't already done so yet, now is the time to schedule your child's annual eye exam at Lentz Eye Care.