Doctors recommend eye exams before heading back to class

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HARTFORD -- Good eyesight is essential for student's success in class.

Dr. Robert Block, Ophthalmologist, Acuity Eye Physicians & Surgeons joined FOX 61 Good Day Connecticut with tips on proper eye care.

Why are eye exams for children so important before school starts? Because children grow over summer. It's also important to identify vision problem early and give them time to adjust to glasses.

Exams for younger kids can identify "lazy" eye when it's correctable. Young child will rarely complain of having vision problems and that can lead to delays in learning, reading and sports

Some signs of vision problems can be a short attention span, the child loses place when reading and avoids reading or close activities or turns their head to the side to look at object directly in front of them.

There is a difference between eye exams and vision screenings. A screening is very basic to pick up crude abnormalities in visual acuity and alignment and gross problems in the retina. An eye exam is a thorough evaluation of the entire eye including visual acuity testing, refractive error testing, eye alignment, glaucoma, and any retinal issues.

Here are some guidelines for exams for the different age groups:

  • Newborn needs screening evaluation by healthcare provider before leaving hospital check red reflex and alignment
  • 6mo - 1yr screening by healthcare provider check red reflex and alignment
  • Age 3-4 yrs screening by healthcare provider check visual acuity and alignment
  • Age 5-6 yrs screening by healthcare provider check visual acuity and alignment

Teens and College students can also take care of their eyes by:

  • Don't swim or shower in contact lenses
  • Spend time outdoors
  • Wash hands
  • Protective eyewear for sports

Tips for Everyone:

  • 20-20-20 Rule
  • Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes regardless of the activity but especially for close work
  • Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds

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