Annual pediatric vision screenings are important

September 8, 2014 Editorial Staff
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Annual vision screenings are an essential part of preparing your child to go back to school. A child suffering from vision problems is at a disadvantage in the classroom, in sports, at home studying, and more.

“A child’s vision is constantly developing,” notes Dr. Norman Saffra, director of the Division of Ophthalmology at Maimonides Medical Center. “It is even more important for children currently wearing glasses to be re-evaluated annually as their prescriptions may change as they grow.”

Parents should rely on their pediatricians for initial vision screenings. These screenings will detect common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, blurred vision and other eye abnormalities. If a problem is detected, the next step is to make an appointment with a pediatric eye care specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

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“If parents notice a vision issue in between annual check-ups, they should be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible,” says Saffra. “When in doubt, check it out.”

Throughout the school year, take note of symptoms of developing vision problems. Signs may include difficulty seeing the blackboard or reading books, excessive eye rubbing and increasing headaches. Take special note of children squinting or blinking frequently, or closing one eye when reading. If one eye seems droopy or drifting, your child may be developing a “lazy eye.”

“Not all vision problems are lifelong reasons to wear glasses,” points out Dr. Roman Polishchuk, pediatric optometrist at Maimonides. “Sometimes as children develop, their eyesight needs minor corrective assistance, after which, your child can stop wearing glasses.”

The Maimonides ophthalmology team strongly urges parents not to miss their child’s annual vision screening.

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