August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, and Lehmann Eye Center encourages parents to make an appointment with a family eye care provider part of every child's back-to-school routine.
Good vision is vital to academic success. An estimated 80% of classroom learning occurs visually, and some students who are thought to have learning disabilities may actually suffer from vision problems instead. A comprehensive eye exam can identify issues that may affect your child's academic and athletic performance.
Although Lehmann Eye Center recommends regular eye exams, there are some signs parents can watch for that may indicate your child is having vision problems. If your child has any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with Lehmann Eye Center. Treating conditions early can often prevent permanent damage.
• Eyes don't line up, one eye appears crossed or looks outward;
• Eyelids are red-rimmed, crusted, or swollen;
• Eyes are watery, red or inflamed;
• Child rubs eyes frequently;
• Child closes or covers one eye;
• Child tilts head or thrusts head forward;
• Child squints or turns head in an unusual manner while watching television;
• Child has trouble reading or doing other close-up work, or holds objects close to eyes to see;
• Child blinks more than usual or seems cranky when doing close-up work;
• Child complains of dizziness, headaches or nausea after doing close-up work.
Back-to-school season is also a good time to focus on eye safety. Children should play with age-appropriate toys and should avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts. While participating in sports or recreational activities, children should wear activity-specific protective eyewear made from a lightweight polycarbonate. If your child has an eye injury, seek medical attention immediately. Do not allow your child to touch or rub the eye, do not apply medication and do not attempt to remove any debris. If the injury is caused by a chemical, flush the eye with water. Thousands of children sustain eye injuries each year, and most could be prevented with appropriate protective eyewear and proper precautions.
When an eye injury occurs, it is important to determine the severity of the damage. This can be difficult because even an eyelash or speck of dirt in the eye can cause extreme discomfort. In all cases, it is better to be safe than to risk vision loss. After first aid has been administered, the eye should be examined by an eye doctor or emergency medical professional.