All school aged children should have an annual comprehensive eye exam.

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All school aged children should have an annual comprehensive eye exam.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Sep 9 2019 12:00PM

All school aged children should have an annual comprehensive eye exam.

Evidence now supports that children ages 6 to 18 years should receive a comprehensive eye exam before entering the first grade and annually thereafter. The comprehensive eye exam guideline has shifted from a two-year to a one-year frequency recommendation due to research showing the increased prevalence of eye and vision disorders and further understanding of the significant impact eye health has on a child's development.

The America Optometric Association (AOA) is urging all parents and caregivers to begin taking their children to a doctor of optometry for regular, in-person comprehensive eye exams at a young age to establish a lifelong prioritization of eye health. The AOA is concerned because many children only receive vision screenings offered at a school or pediatrician's office, which fail to catch a wide variety of conditions that only a comprehensive eye exam can detect.

Good vision and overall eye health are essential in childhood development. Poor vision can affect a child's ability to participate in class and cause them to fall behind in their education. It can also impact their performance in sports, among other activities. A comprehensive eye exam goes beyond vision screenings commonly offered at school or a pediatrician's office, which fail to catch a wide variety of conditions. A doctor of optometry can diagnose and treat any eye or vision conditions that may affect overall health, such as glaucoma, brain damage and head trauma.

"Undiagnosed and uncorrected eye and vision problems are a significant public health concern, which is why the AOA developed the evidence-based guideline for comprehensive pediatric eye and vision examinations," said Christopher Quinn, O.D., president of the AOA. "Children are entitled to the best care, and this guideline provides the compass for comprehensive and improved care for children based on the collective body of available evidence."

Have your children all had a comprehensive eye exam this year?

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