Good vision vital to a child’s overall health; call Dr. Bryan P. Gibson, O.D., to schedule eye exam

BACK-TO-SCHOOL VISION CARE – Parents, make an annual eye exam part of your child’s back-to-school routine. About 25 percent of elementary school students have vision problems, and the earlier your child is fitted for corrective lenses, the better they will adapt. Call Drs. Armistead, Moore, Gibson and Gibson at (806) 747-1635 to make an exam appointment.

This is the time of year when parents and children are busy getting ready to go back to school. In addition to new school clothes, a cool backpack and a new lunch box, parents should make sure young students get an eye exam before heading back to class!

A comprehensive eye examination for students is one of the most important tasks on a back-to-school “to-do” list and yet one that is often overlooked, says Bryan P. Gibson, O.D., at Drs. Armistead, Moore, & Gibson and Gibson. Good eye health and clear vision are critical factors for better performance at school, on the athletic field and at play. Without an eye exam, many children have vision problems that remain undiagnosed.

Frenship Independent School District has 7,000-plus students, while LISD has about 29,000, including 11,000 in elementary school. Studies show that 5 to 10 percent of preschool children and 25 percent of young students have vision problems which required the need for corrective lenses.

“Children naturally adapt to the vision they have and can’t tell their parents if something is wrong,” explains Dr. Gibson, who cautions parents to be alert for clues that a child is having problems seeing clearly. “Clues to look for that your child might need an eye exam are squinting, excessive blinking or rubbing eyes, forehead headaches, eyes not pointing straight or family members using glasses.”

The American Optometric Association recommends children have their first eye exam at 6 months of age, followed by exams at age 3 and age 5. Once children begin school, they should have an annual eye exam to monitor for any changes in eyesight and eye health as they mature.

In children, eye exams evaluate overall eye health, as well as basic vision skills:

• Near vision – the ability to see clearly and comfortably at 10-13 inches.

• Distance vision – the ability to see clearly and comfortably beyond arm’s reach.

• Binocular coordination – the ability to use both eyes together.

• Eye movement skills – the ability to aim the eyes accurately, move them smoothly across a page and shift them quickly and accurately from one object to another.

• Focusing skills – the ability to keep both eyes accurately focused at the proper distance to see clearly and to change focus quickly.

• Peripheral awareness – the ability to be aware of things located to the side while looking straight ahead.

Dr. Gibson explains that diagnosing vision problems and fitting children with glasses early is vital to ensuring they get the most benefit from corrective eye wear. The longer a vision problem goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more a child’s brain learns to cope with the vision problem.

Dr. Gibson said, “While a pediatrician may check for distance vision during an annual check-up, they miss up to 50% of children that truly need glasses. Only an eye professional, like an optometrist, can provide a comprehensive vision examination”.

And for all of your family’s vision needs, trust Dr. Bryan P. Gibson and the professionals at Drs. Armistead, Moore, Gibson & Gibson. Doctors of optometry are the primary health care professionals for the eye. Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, and manage diseases, injuries, and disorders of the visual system and the eye.

Call (806) 747-1635 today to make an appointment. Most insurances accepted.

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