Eye exams critical to aid child’s learning future

As the 2018-19 school year approaches, Wisconsin parents are encouraged to take their children to a doctor of optometry for a comprehensive vision and eye health exam to help ensure that they are able to see clearly and succeed in the classroom.

A child’s learning experience is highly influenced by his or her vision and eye health, with 80 percent of a child’s early learning coming from vision.

The doctors of the Wisconsin Optometric Association (WOA) want to see Wisconsin’s children maximizing their potential in school.

At times, children with vision related learning difficulties may exhibit hyperactive or disruptive behavior in school, leading to a misdiagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) rather than the actual cause of an undetected vision problem.

This is a result of the similarities in signs and symptoms between undetected vision disorders and ADHD, and children who display disruptive behavior may actually be reacting to their inability to fully participate in the classroom due to vision problems.

Unless otherwise advised by a licensed eye doctor, comprehensive eye exams should be conducted before a child enters school and every two years afterward.

Vision and eye health conditions can be improved or corrected, if detected early. A school vision screening is no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor, as vision screenings typically test only for a child’s ability to see from a distance and cannot detect eye diseases or more complicated vision problems.

As a result, screenings often miss a substantial amount of children with learning-related vision problems.

Through its VISION USA – The Wisconsin Project program, the WOA offers comprehensive eye care services at no cost to children from low income, working families that cannot afford the cost of care and who do not have insurance coverage.

This benevolent program consists of volunteer doctors who donate their services free of charge as part of Optometry’s commitment to the children of our state.

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