August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Children require clear vision to be successful in school and extracurricular activities. As children advance in school, the demand for clear vision increases because they spend more time reading and learning. Vision problems should be addressed at an early age to prevent visual and/or learning difficulties.
There are many signs of difficulty with vision that may be more complicated than blurry vision alone, including:

  • Avoid reading
  • Have trouble learning
  • Letters appear to float on the page
  • double and/or blurry vision
  • Rub their eyes
  • Headaches
  • Trouble focusing

There are many different conditions that can cause the above complaints, including:

  • Nearsightedness/Farsightedness/Astigmatism
  • Strabismus (Eye turns in or out)
  • Amblyopia  (Lazy/Underdeveloped Eye)
  • Eye Focusing Disorders
  • Eye Teaming Disorders
  • Eye Tracking Disorders
  • Eye-Hand Coordination Disorders
  • Visual Perception Disorders

If these conditions are diagnosed early, many can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, patching or vision therapy.
School screenings usually only test distance vision, and may not assess other aspects of the eyes including near vision, eye teaming, eye focusing and eye health through dilation. All of these components of an eye examination are necessary to ensure that a child has the proper vision to learn appropriately.
Children’s eyes are constantly changing and developing, and he or she may not even notice when problems start. Visual problems have even been misdiagnosed as learning disabilities and attention deficits. Therefore, if no problems have been noted sooner, the first time a comprehensive eye exam should be completed is at six months of age and continued yearly from age three, unless recommended more frequently by your eye doctor.
Bio:  Dr. Tincy Thomas received her undergraduate and Doctor of Optometry Degrees at Nova Southeastern University. She was born in Chicago and grew up in Plant City. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling. Dr. Thomas practices at Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida’s Lakeland Highlands office and resides in Lakeland.  

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