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While the month of August draws to a close with parents calculating how much of the salary will be spent on new session school fees and kits, it is important to remember that children also need a comprehensive eye test before resumption.

Many times, children who have challenges learning are said to be lazy, distracted, interested in other things, have short attention spans or have a poor attitude towards school.  The fact is that some of them would have had a basic eye screening and tested with 20/20 vision but still have vision challenges. And there is a critical link between vision and learning.

What an eye screening will be able to check

Some of the visual skills imperative for learning include:

  • Eye movement
  • Eye focusing
  • Binocular vision (eye teaming)
  • Eye coordination
  • Colour vision
  • Visual perception skills

These are all aspects of regular vision that need to be tested and a basic eye screening might not be able to evaluate them. A comprehensive eye examination will be able to evaluate these skills.

Signs of Vision Problem

In school and at home, parents and teachers should look out for these signs that the learning challenges their children are experiencing might stem from vision problems:

  • Sloppy handwriting
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Confusing similar words
  • Eye complaints or headaches after reading
  • Failing to recognise the same word in consecutive sentences
  • Frequently losing one’s place when reading
  • Attention problem
  • Avoiding close work (e.g. reading)

This challenge is not limited to reading. Some vision challenged children might have problems with math skills, but their learning can be improved with the appropriate vision therapy. A comprehensive examination will help you know what challenges your child might be facing which could be affecting learning abilities.

For all children going to school, it is recommended that you give them a comprehensive eye test from when they start school and routine check-ups every six months. This could very well make all the difference in their grades.