The Massachusetts Society of Optometrists Encourages Making Vision Exams an Annual Back-to-School Tradition
From ages 6 to 18, a child’s vision can change frequently or unexpectedly which can lead to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom. This year, the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists (MSO) encourages parents to start the school year on a healthy note by making comprehensive eye exams a priority and maintaining proper eye health throughout the year.
The MSO reminds parents to keep these four eye health and safety tips in mind:
- Know that pediatric eye exams are most likely covered by your health insurance plan: Most health insurance plans, including those sold in health insurance marketplaces, cover comprehensive pediatric eye exams. In fact, 54 percent of people were unaware that the Affordable Care Act now defines a comprehensive eye exam as an essential benefit and cover this expense, including glasses for children, according to the AOA’s 2015 American Eye-Q® survey.
- Look for indicators of eye health issues: Common signals that your child may be experiencing a vision problem include covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, a short attention span and complaining of headaches or other discomfort.
- Prevent eye strain by monitoring use of digital devices: Increased exposure to electronic devices in and out of the classroom can cause digital eye strain, including burning or itchy eyes, headaches, blurred vision and exhaustion. The AOA recommends following the 20-20-20 rule (taking a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away), blinking frequently and adjusting your child’s computer screen to prevent glare can prevent discomfort.
- Wear proper eye protection for sports and outdoor activities: Well-fitting, protective eye wear and quality sunglasses that offer UV protection are also critical to maintaining key visual skills for sports and preventing injuries.
“One in four children have an undiagnosed vision problem simply because changes in their eyesight go unrecognized by both the child and their parents or guardian and often get worse over time,” said Dr Matthew Forgues, President of the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists. “Making a comprehensive eye exam a priority this year is one of the single most important investments you can make to your child’s education and overall health. While schools typically offer basic vision screenings, a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to detect serious eye health issues.”
Make sure your child is seeing clearly. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child with your local doctor of optometry today. Click here to find a doctor of optometry near you.