School Prep: 3 Conditions Your Child's Optomotrist Will Check For

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With school underway, now is the time to have your child's eyes checked. Even if you do not suspect a problem, it is still best to have your child examined by an optometrist to ensure that their eyes are in good health so they do not encounter any headaches or eye pain during the school year. The following are some things the optometrist will check for during your child's eye exam:


Astigmatism is a refractive error. This affects how the eyes focus on light. Those with astigmatism are not able to process light correctly with the retina. The eye instead has many different points that it focuses on in front of or behind the retina.

If your child squints a lot when they are attempting to focus on something, especially when reading, mention this to the eye doctor at the appointment. Complaints of headaches can also indicate this problem. Your child will likely need glasses to correct this issue.


Amblyopia, also commonly known as lazy eye, is when the vision of one or both eyes is decreased. This is seen often in children when they are very young. You can treat this a number of ways. If you catch it early, you can treat it using an eye patch. This is optimal if the problem is with one eye only. Your optometrist will give you an eye patch to cover the stronger eye with the lazy eye left as the only one the child uses. This will force that eye to work harder. Just like a muscle, it will become stronger the more it is used. You can also have your child fitted for glasses to help correct his or her vision. One lens will be stronger than the other, but that is not typically an issue.

Farsightedness and Nearsightedness

Scientifically known as hyperopia, farsightedness is a very common problem for a large percentage of the U.S. population. This condition prevents strong vision when focusing on close objects while being able to see distant objects clearly. Farsightedness can cause eyestrain, headaches, squinting, and fatigue. This is very easy to fix with prescription glasses.

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is the opposite of farsightedness. It is also very common amongst many people. Nearsightedness allows you to see close objects very clearly, while it can be more difficult to see things far away. This is particularly problematic for children who need to be able to see the blackboard in a classroom. This will also require glasses to fix.

A child's eye health is very important when they go to school. Always take the time at the beginning of school each year to ensure your child's eyes are healthy and to update prescriptions if necessary. For more information, contact an eye doctor at an office such as Coastal Eye Care.