Ensure Your Child's Eyes Are Ready to Go Back to School

Boy going back to school with glasses

Is Vision Care Part of Your Back-to-School Routine?

If your son or daughter's calendar doesn't include a visit with the eye doctor, he or she may not be prepared to handle another school year. Changes in your child's vision over the summer could cause vision problems that may interfere with learning. In addition to checking the sharpness of your child's vision, your optometrist also looks for subtle conditions and diseases that could affect his or her eyesight.

Why Good Vision Is Important for Academic Success

A complex interaction between the brain and the eyes makes learning possible. The eyes send electrical images to the brain, which turns them into recognizable images. If your child has a vision problem, the brain struggles to create clear images. As a result, reading, writing and even completing math problems can be difficult.

Once images are processed, they're stored in short- and long-term memory. In some cases, poor vision can interfere with the storage process, leaving gaps in your child's memory. He or she may struggle to remember a spelling word or recall history facts during a test, despite studying for the exam.

Vision issues can also cause eyestrain, headaches and fatigue, which make completing schoolwork uncomfortable. Does your child struggle to pay attention in class? Although this may seem like a behavioral problem, an issue with vision may be to blame. When your child can't see well or the words seem to jump or move on the page, he or she may become frustrated and may not be able to finish assignments or follow along with the words in the textbook.

Common Vision Problems in Children

Children can experience a variety of vision problems, including:

  • Refractive Errors. Myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) can make words, people and objects look blurry. Some children also suffer from astigmatism, a refractive error that causes blurry vision at any distance due to an imperfectly shaped cornea. School vision screenings don't always detect refractive errors. Up to 75% of vision problems are missed during school screenings, according to the American Optometric Association.
  • Strabismus. Commonly called "crossed eyes," strabismus occurs when the eyes are misaligned. Even a minor, virtually unnoticeable difference in alignment can affect your child's vision. Strabismus symptoms include double or blurry vision, eyestrain, poor depth perception and sensitivity to light. Kids who have strabismus may tilt their heads or the book when reading.
  • Amblyopia. The brain ignores information from one eye if your child has amblyopia or "lazy" eye. Amblyopia can happen if your child has strabismus, but can also be caused by cataracts or uncorrected refractive errors. Children who have amblyopia may also experience poor depth perception and double or blurry vision or tilt their heads to see. Other symptoms include squinting and eye rubbing.
  • Other Vision Problems. Issues with eye teaming, eye tracking, focusing, hand-eye coordination, depth perception and other problems may also affect your child's vision.

How You Can Help Your Child Prepare for School

These tips can help you ensure that your child is ready for the new school year:

  • Limit Screen Time. Too much time playing video games, surfing the Web or texting can cause eyestrain, red eyes and fatigue. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than an hour of screen time for kids ages 2 to 5 and suggests parents of older kids set their own limits.
  • Follow the 20/20/20 Rule. Frequent breaks help your children avoid eyestrain. Encourage your kids to look at an object 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Wear Protective Eyewear. Make sure your young athletes wear goggles or protective safety glasses when practicing or playing sports.
  • Make an Appointment with the Optometrist. Schedule a visit with the eye doctor before the first day of school or during the first few weeks of the new school year. If your child does have a vision problem, correcting it as soon as possible may help improve his or her academic performance and make schoolwork less stressful. Does your child already wear eyeglasses or contact lenses? Vision can change often during childhood. Yearly exams help you ensure that your child's eyeglass prescription is up to date.

Does your child need to see the optometrist? Call our office to schedule his or her back-to-school appointment.

Sources:

American Optometric Association: School-Aged Vision: 6 to 18 years of Age

National Eye Institute: Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

American Academy of Pediatrics: Media and Young Minds, 2016

American Optometric Association: Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)

All About Vision: How Vision Affects Your Child in School, 3/24/2022

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Hours of Operation

We are closed for lunch daily from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM.

Brier Creek Vision Care

Monday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday:

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonial

  • "Excellent office. Staff is helpful and polite when dealing with my special needs child. They understand when he needs break and how to redirect to another technique to achieve goal. Would highly recommend to others!"
    Jennifer, Raleigh, NC
  • "I needed an eye doctor to see me for my concussion issue that effected my eyesight. There isn't many who are able to assess. Dr. Durham knew just how to work with my case in a gentle manner to help keep me calm. I finally have hope for healing now."
    Elizabeth 3/15/19 - Answer to Prayer
  • "Dr Durham is amazing. She takes the time to hear the patient and is extemely knowlegable."
    Susan 3/16/19 - Amazing
  • "All the staff were very helpful & Susan Durham was very thorough & professional"
    Jill 3/14/19
  • "Dr. Durham and her staff are the best and most knowledgeable dealing with brain injuries. Highly recommended!"
    Kristina 3/11/19 - Absolutely the best!
  • "Thought exam was personal, deteilrd and fully explained. Staff were prompt, kind, snd professional. I’d recommend Dr. Durham’s clinic to anyone needing eye care."
    Thomas 3/10/19
  • "The staff was very polite and extremely patient with my condition. Very specific about my condition and caring to help me recover. We will have a long road to recovery together."
    Elizabeth 3/11/19
  • "Didn't have to wait. Very thorough eye exam."
    Sandy 3/7/19 - Great eye checkup
  • "My visit was more than I could of asked for. I told my friends about my visit to the future. Dr. Dunham was extremely knowledgeable, concerned and determined to get it right, Her staff seemed to respect her greatly. staff was trained very well and gave me the confidence they knew what they were doing.
    I have already told my friends about my visit to the future."
    Patricia 2/24/19 - Everything was perfect.
  • "My daughter and I have have had great experiences at Brier Creek Vision! Dr. N. Is fantastic!! The office staff is super friendly, accommodating and very pleasurable to work with. Eye glass frames are plentiful and the opticians are helpful, suggestive and patient! Thanks to everyone for making all of visits wonderful!!"
    Cynthia 2/14/19 – Great Experience
  • "Dr Nakagawara is open, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Karim Glover in the optical dispensary took great care in explaining and helping me to get great value on a new set of prescription sunglasses that will do much more than my previous set. Extremely happy.
    Loved the Optician!"
    Thomas 2/22/19 - Great Doctors and Team...
  • "I cannot tell you how happy I am with Brier Creek Vision. Everyone from the moment you enter, all the way through the appointment, is knowledgeable friendly and caring. I receive excellent and professional care. Highly recommend!"
    Helen 2/21/19 - Excellent care
  • "Went from 20/30 to 20/20! The sky is the limit with dr Patel. Will continue to bring both my kids here...."
    Temidayo 2/17/19 - Dr Patel Rocks!!!!
  • "I have had nothing but amazing experiences here! The entire staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I have never walked away unsatisfied."
    Shelby 2/14/19 - Awesome!
  • "This office has all of the latest equipment and skills to take care of your eyes."
    Wales 2/6/19 - Great eye care!
  • "The atmosphere in the office is very pleasant and welcoming. I always feel comfortable in both the waiting room and the exam rooms. Selecting glasses is also a breeze, as the staff is extremely helpful and knowledgable."
    Kris 1/31/19 - Amazing Experience
  • "Our family visit was over the top. The entire staff took their time and made sure each and everyone's exam was through. No pressure to buy glasses. Our experience with Dr. Nakagawara was outstanding!!"
    Melissa 1/31/19 - Recommend
  • "I always have the best visit at Brier Creek Vision. My Doctor, Esther Nakagawara, is the best at what she does! She handles the procedures with care, caution and concern, explains well and has the best solutions to keep your eyes healthy. The staff is accommodating, patient and very kind to everyone; they never mind answering questions. The opticians are helpful in assisting with the selection of eyecare that looks good and works the best for you. I have told many people about my positive experiences at Brier Creek Vision and recommended this office as well."
    Kailah 1/30/19 - The Best in Eyeccare!!
  • "My family and I have been patients of Brier Creek Vision for 2 years. Dr. Nakagawara is a very caring and skilled OD who communicates, teaches and plans well. The staff and optometrists are inviting, knowledgeable and very helpful. We have recommended BCV to all our friends and family!"
    Cynthia 1/30/19 - Highly recommend
  • "I was thrilled to learn about the new Shaw lens concept to treat my daughter's amblyopia!"
    Molly 1/30/19 - Excellent Experience