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Back-To-School Eye Exams Help Kids Succeed in the Classroom

School supplies… new shoes… eye exam?  It’s back to school season, which makes it a perfect time for a comprehensive eye exam.

Many of us believe that vision screenings – like those offered by the school nurse or in the pediatrician’s office – are effective at detecting vision problems. While helpful in detecting some problems, they are no substitute for an exam performed by an eyecare professional.

Small children rarely complain of vision problems. They are easily distracted and inattentive during these ‘mass screenings’, thus further limiting their usefulness.

Some kids are at higher risk for vision problems and should receive regular eye exams.  These include the children of parents with significant eyeglass needs, children of Asian ethnicity, and a family history of childhood eye problems including crossed and lazy eyes. Also, once a child is prescribed glasses, vison can change rapidly so annual eye exams are a must.

Poor vision can lead to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom. According to Prevent Blindness America, one in four school-age children have vision problems that, if left untreated, affect their learning ability.

Here are some eye health safety tips:

  • Be on the lookout for indicators of potential problems. Common signals that a child is experiencing a vision problem includes covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face and complaining of headaches.  Be aware that small children rarely complain of poor vision.
  • Prevent eye strain by monitoring the use of electronic devices.
  • Wear proper eye protection for sports and outdoor activities. Protective eye wear and quality sunglasses with UV protection are critical to maintaining key visual skills for sports.
  • Encourage children to wash their hands before putting them close to their eyes.
  • Feed your children fruits and veggies to support healthy vision. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and collard greens, as well as fish like salmon, tuna and halibut have been shown to improve eye health.

Maintaining proper eye health throughout the year is crucial to a child’s education and growth. Start the school year right and make it a priority to get your child a comprehensive eye exam at Coastal Jersey Eye Center.

Dr. Stephen H. Uretsky is a board-certified ophthalmologist with 35 years of practice experience who specializes in comprehensive eye care. Coastal Jersey Eye Center features an optical center, Classic Eyewear, which provides eyeglass frames and lenses to suit every style and budget. For more information on eye exams or to schedule an appointment, please call the Linwood office at 609.927.3373 or 609.465.7926 for the Cape May Court House office. Visit online at