On Your Side: Why kids need back-to-school eye exams

Published: Aug. 8, 2023 at 5:57 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you haven’t already, book your children’s annual eye doctor appointment.

Optometrists tell On Your Side now is the best time of the year to schedule an exam. Get them in before school starts.

For children, 60 to 80 percent of their learning is visual. Vision screenings at school vary depending on the district. It’s best just to make a yearly appointment at an eye clinic. An undiagnosed eye condition can impact a student’s performance and more.

“Learning is so important. Why would we want to take something that’s easy to fix and ignore it and have it contribute to a problem -- for who knows how long?” asked Dr. Chris Boschen with Sunshine Eye Clinic.

Boschen says an annual exam takes about twenty minutes.

“Most vision issues aren’t real complex. They’re pretty straightforward,” said Boschen.

Take note if your child often squints and has headaches. Ask these simple questions.

“Can you see what’s on that road sign? Can you read the clock that’s on the oven in the kitchen?” asked Boschen.

If your kid is near-sighted, new technology can help.

“We have effective treatments now to stop or slow the progression of myopia. Myopia is nearsightedness which can lead to a host of problems down the road if it progresses to the point where a lot of parents might be at,” said Boschen.

Routine, yearly exams are the best way to protect your child’s vision. Your doctor will test for focusing, hand-eye coordination, eye teaming, and tracking, following an object, and visual perception.

Ways to save at the eye clinic

  • Ask your clinic if there’s a back-to-school discount. You could save on the exam and glasses.
  • Ask if there’s a family plan. Many offer family plans which provide significant savings. We’re talking 50 percent off exams for the kiddos.
  • All eye clinics should accept an HSA card.
  • Many offer Care Credit, which is a credit card. So you’ll need to be approved. Pay off your balance before the interest kicks in.
  • Ask if the clinic offers a payment plan or has a royalty club.

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