Back to School Vision Tips

I can’t believe it is already time to go back to school! As you get ready to go back to school shopping and
getting the kids ready for school, don’t forget to get an eye exam! Our eyes are so important for success
in school. Vision issues can lead to learning, behavioral, and confidence problems. Undetected vision
problems can develop learning delays. Children can also have trouble concentrating if they are having
issues with their vision. Keep reading for tips to help your child be successful this school year.

Watch for signs of eye problems

Typically, older children are good at letting you know if they are having issues with their vision, but
younger kids have a harder time articulating what is going on and may even think it is normal.

Signs of eye problems include:

  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Getting closer to things to see them
  • Head tilt
  • Eye rubbing
  • Complaining of tired eyes or hurting eyes
  • Short attention span
  • Screen time

Lots of kids these days are on computers at school and at home. Limit the amount of time your kids are
on screens. Try to do as little as possible. Looking at screens reduces the number of times we blink and
can cause dry eyes. Too much screen time can also lead to eye strain.

Symptoms of eye strain include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Headache
  • Sore eyes

I tell my patients to go by the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-minute
break and look at something 20 feet away. Also remember to blink!

Don’t forget your glasses or contacts

If you need glasses or contacts to see better, make sure to wear them! If you don’t, your vision will be
blurred, or you may get a headache which makes for a pretty unproductive school day. Also make sure that the glasses fit well, if the glasses are too big, they will constantly slide down which is frustrating
when trying to do schoolwork. On the other hand, if they are too tight, they may cause a headache.

Protect eyes during sports

Protective eyewear during sports is so important to help prevent your child from sustaining an eye
injury. The lenses in the glasses should be made of polycarbonate material.

Wash your hands

Our hands carry lots of germs which can lead to eye infections like conjunctivitis. Encourage children to
wash their hands frequently and don’t rub their eyes!

Sleep, eat healthy, and stay hydrated

Getting enough rest at night will help your eyes perform to their very best! Tired eyes can lead to dry
eye and eye spasm which can keep you from focusing on your work. Eating a well-balanced diet is good for overall health, including your eyes. Orange foods have beta-carotene in them which helps us process vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for our eyes! Leafy greens like broccoli, spinach, and kale contain lots of vitamins that are good for the eyes as well. Fish, nuts, and grains have omega-3 fatty acids which help protect our eyes from becoming dry. Drinking enough water is helpful for preventing dry eye.

We would love to see you and your kiddos in before the busy school year kicks in! We hope you have a
great school year!

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Dr. Thirion

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