Children are amazing! From the moment they are born, they have the ability to learn. They absorb what they see and will start mimicking from very early on in their lives. Just by looking at their parents or siblings, a baby can learn important skills that they will need, and use, for the rest of their lives.

All of their senses are important, but sight plays a big part in their learning process. Once the child starts going to school, their vision becomes extremely important because 80% of what they learn is done through visual presentation. The brain processes what the eyes see and through this, the child learns. A child who struggles to see the blackboard, due to vision problems, may lose interest and stop paying attention to the teacher or simply not understand the lesson at all. The fact that they cannot see what is being taught, leads to a lack of academic advancement. Too often a child is diagnosed with a learning disability when in fact the main issue can be a refractive error which prescription glasses can easily correct.

What Is a Refractive Error?

Refractive error is when the shape of the eye does not bend the light properly resulting in blurred vision. There are three different types of refractive errors that can affect children:

Myopia or Nearsightedness 

- A child with this type of refractive error has difficulty seeing distant objects clearly. This is the most common in children. It may cause headaches and eye strain.

Hyperopia or Farsightedness 

- Hyperopia is when the child cannot see clearly objects that are close. Symptoms include headaches, eyestrain and fatigue. If you notice that your child rubs their eyes frequently, squints, has trouble reading or focusing on school, these may be signs that they are farsighted.

Astigmatism

- This condition is an abnormal curvature of the eyeball which leads to blurred vision on close and far objects. It may cause eyestrain, tiredness, lack of interest in school and it may be combined with either nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Children-are-amazing

To give your child the best possible academic success rate, an eye exam is recommended as such:

- A child’s first eye exam should be done at 6 months old

- Pre-school children should see an optometrist at least once between the ages of 2 and 5

- Children in school full time should get an eye exam at least every year. This allows the optometrist to detect vision problems that could contribute to learning issues if left uncorrected as well as to detect any ocular disease.

If your child does need glasses, IRIS has you covered! We have a large assortment of brand-name frames for your little ones that they are sure to love!

Contact your local IRIS to make an appointment for your child. Find your store's phone number right here. Our team of professionals have the tools and know-how to deal with children of any age.