Good vision is crucial for children to realise their full academic potential. A significant percentage of what kids are taught in school is presented visually, which means vision difficulties may have a major effect on your child's learning. Children are often subjected to a vision screening at school, and this begs the question: do they still need an eye test? This article explains the differences between eye tests and vision screenings and why regular eye tests are important even if your child has passed a vision screening test.
Vision screenings aren't the same as eye exams
Bear in mind that vision screenings aren't thorough eye examinations. In fact, screenings typically take a few minutes and are usually carried out by volunteers who aren't optometrists. Vision screenings are simply visual acuity examinations where a person is challenged to point out the smallest letters they can on a vision chart in a room.
On the other hand, eye tests are performed by eye care experts, such as optometrists or ophthalmologists. Apart from evaluating your visual acuity, eye exams also analyse the overall health of your eyes in addition to detecting any early signs of severe eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma, a detached retina, and macular degeneration. Moreover, your optometrist can also identify symptoms of serious health complications such as high blood pressure and diabetes, depending on the appearance of blood vessels plus other structures inside the eye.
Ensure normal vision development of your child
Children are increasingly using digital devices such as computers and tablets in school, and they start using them at a much younger age compared to kids in the past. Typically, the illuminated screens of these digital devices are more visually demanding compared to printed texts or books. The extensive application of digital devices in schools has coincided with another key trend—a sharp rise in myopia cases, especially among children.
As a result of these developments, eye care experts hold the belief that computing devices have a hand in the development of shortsightedness as well as myopia progression. Therefore, due diligence requires parents to take their children for routine eye tests to detect and treat potential vision complications. Although vision screenings can detect serious cases of myopia in children, they aren't comprehensive enough to detect all kids who have vision complications that may affect their school learning. In contrast, eye exams can do that.
Only an eye exam can guarantee that your child has normal vision or all the necessary visual skills to perform exceptionally in class.