This August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. While most parents go above and beyond to keep their children safe, it is easy to neglect regular examinations of the eyes, arguably the most important sensory organ of the body.

A critical part of maintaining your child’s health should include annual trips to an eye doctor. Often parents rely on vision screening tests performed by pediatricians, but these tests should only be supplementary to the exams performed by optometrists and ophthalmologists since vision screenings focus on select vision issues and can miss up to 60% of treatable problems. The American Optometric Association states that 1 in 4 schoolchildren suffers from vision problems that impede their ability to learn, so regular eye care is crucial to unlock and maintain your child’s potential.

The Symptoms of Poor Vision

When children suffer from untreated and undiagnosed vision issues, they often begin to fall behind in school, exhibit great difficulty focusing, and sometimes even show symptoms similar to those of children with ADHD.

Myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism are the most common vision issues with children, often requiring only contact lenses or glasses to correct the problem. According to the National Center at Prevent Blindness, 9% of children aged 5-7 suffer from myopia, 13% from hyperopia, and 15-28% from astigmatism. Since these issues are easily treatable, yet extremely widespread, it is crucial for parents to commit to yearly eye exams for their children, especially since a child’s vision will change over time.

If your child is exhibiting any of the following signs, consider taking him or her to an ophthalmologist to rule out or correct vision issues:

•Squinting or closing one eye to read or see better- Since most children with vision problems suffer from nearsightedness, struggling to focus is a clear indication of vision issues.
•Suffering from headaches- Headaches have been linked to eye strain and other vision issues.
•Falling behind in school- When students suffer from undiagnosed vision problems, often they exhibit difficulties in learning, reading, and writing.
•Exhibiting poor reading skills- Skipping words, becoming fatigued, and losing their place while reading can all be signs of vision problems.

Maintaining good eye health can improve your child’s life, from academic performance to general mood, so don’t delay an annual exam any longer! Call us at (518) 475-1515 to schedule an appointment for your child. Our team at Cornea Consultants of Albany is happy to answer any questions you may have about vision and look forward to helping you keep your child happy and healthy.

Dr. Robert Schultze
Dr. Robert Schultze
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Schultze received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in 1994, where he was distinguished with the Lamport Biomedical Research Award. Upon completion of ophthalmology residency at Albany Medical College in 1998, Dr. Schultze elected to further his education with one additional year of specialty fellowship training in Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery at the Albany Medical College. Dr. Schultze has been appointed Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgery at the Albany Medical Center Department of Ophthalmology where he teaches medical students, residents, and fellows the latest diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. He also serves as Ophthalmology Residency Program Director, Director of Medical Student Education in Ophthalmology, and Director of the Cornea Fellowship Program. Dr. Schultze is Medical Director and a founding partner of his medical practice, Cornea Consultants of Albany. He also serves as Medical Director of TLC Laser Eye Center as well as the Lions Eye Bank at Albany and has served on the Northeastern Association for the Blind at Albany’s Board of Directors.

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