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Back to School: Prioritizing Vision Health for Students

Child receiving an eye exam from a blonde female doctor.

By Dr. John Titak

As the summer draws to a close and we prepare to embrace the back-to-school season, it’s essential to consider the well-being of our students. Amidst the excitement of shopping for school supplies and new outfits, we must not overlook the importance of ensuring their vision health. With approximately 80% of learning in school being visual, it is crucial to prioritize comprehensive eye examinations.

At Lake Oconee Eye Care, our dedicated team of doctors utilizes the latest technology and advancements in vision care to provide thorough eye examinations. These exams not only assess vision but also serve as comprehensive health checks for the entire visual system. By detecting subtle differences between the eyes, we can identify issues that may impact a student’s ability to see clearly. Identifying such concerns early allows for timely intervention to prevent conditions like amblyopia, commonly known as “lazy eye.” Moreover, these examinations can help identify sources of eye strain and focusing difficulties that may affect students during their school day, especially considering the increased reliance on digital screens.

When an eye problem is identified during the examination, we provide tailored prescriptions to ensure the best possible focus for each student. Whether it’s glasses or contact lenses, we take into account their specific needs and lifestyle. For students engaged in sports or extracurricular activities, contact lenses may be a preferred option. Fortunately, there is a wide range of single-use contact lenses available that offer convenience without the need for cleaning and disinfection.

Innovations in eyewear have also revolutionized the way we address visual challenges. Glasses designed to optimize focus for distance and enhance close-up vision can alleviate eyestrain associated with prolonged use of digital devices. This is particularly beneficial for students who spend significant amounts of time on tablets and cellphones, estimated to be around six to nine hours daily. Additionally, students with nearsightedness can benefit from daily disposable contact lenses, not only correcting their vision but also slowing down the progression of the condition. We recommend initiating this treatment between the ages of 8 and 12, based on studies that have shown a 50% reduction in the progression of nearsightedness with the use of these lenses.

The back-to-school season presents an ideal opportunity to schedule an eye examination for your child. While vision screenings provide a basic assessment, they are insufficient for thoroughly evaluating a student’s visual health. With rapidly evolving technology and treatment options, early detection and intervention can lead to better outcomes. At Lake Oconee Eye Care, we are dedicated to serving your students and families, and we wish you a successful and healthy school year ahead.