A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Are Vision Problems Limiting Your Child’s Learning?

by Damion Wasylow 9 August 2019 13:18 PM

child not engaged in the classroom
One of the most common contributors to children’s struggles in the classroom is undiagnosed vision problems. Poor vision can make learning extremely stressful and frustrating, leading children to withdraw, act out or give up entirely. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, one in five U.S. preschoolers have vision problems, and one in four will need or wear corrective lenses by the time they enter school. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control found 12.5 million school-age kids are unable to see the blackboard, and only 10 percent of children ages nine-15 who need glasses actually have them.

When you consider that the vast majority of what a child learns in school is through visually presented information – in books, on screens, on the blackboard, through demonstrations, etc. – the magnitude of the problem becomes clear. Imagine trying to take notes without being able to quickly change visual focus from the teacher to the paper in front of you. Think how hard it would be to absorb concepts while fighting through double vision.

Many parents mistakenly believe that if a child is having difficulty seeing, they’ll say something, but according to Dr. Michael Earley, associate dean of academic affairs at The Ohio State University, that’s not the case. "Kids don't say anything,” explains Dr. Earley. “Kids don't know what their vision is supposed to look like. They don't volunteer these things or complain, which is why we have to do a comprehensive eye exam.”

And school vision screenings do little to help. In fact, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that school vision screenings miss on identifying up to 75 percent of children with vision problems. Even when problems are identified, the same research found that 61 percent never follow up with an eye doctor. This is why it is so important to get your child a comprehensive eye exam from a local eye doctor leading into the school year.

You should also watch closely for these symptoms throughout the year:

  • Headaches and eye strain
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dislike or avoidance of reading and close work
  • Short attention span during visual tasks
  • Covers one eye frequently
  • Relies on finger as a reading guide
  • Reads slowly or has poor reading comprehension 

If you have any reason to suspect your child may have an undiagnosed vision problem, or if you just want to ensure your child’s eyes are as healthy as they should be, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today. We’re experts at diagnosing and treating all forms of children’s vision problems, so your son or daughter can have the best shot at classroom success. Call us at 352-373-4300 or just stop by one of our two convenient optical locations in Gainesville.



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