Why your Back to School checklist should include an eye exam

| Posted On Aug 22, 2012 | By:

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), most of a child’s learning occurs through use of his or her eyes.  School activities – reading, writing, sports, play, and the use of technology like smart boards, desktop PCs and tablets, to name only a few – place many demands on a child’s vision.

Moreover, different activities place different requirements on a child’s vision: some tasks require children to view things very close to them, while others require the ability to see things far away; activities like looking from a smart board at the front of the classroom back to a journal or piece of paper at a child’s desk require the eyes to be able to focus clearly at changing distances; when reading a book or passage, the eyes must move together or “team up”; and many sports require children to be able to visually track moving objects with their eyes with good acuity and depth perception.

While a vision screening done at your pediatrician’s office or at school can identify distance vision problems, these screenings may not be able to identify other vision problems that may impede a child’s success at school or playing sports.

It’s also difficult for children to express that they are having a vision problem – they may think what they see is what everyone else sees.  Some signs the AOA lists that may indicate a child has a vision problem are:

Given the above, all students can benefit from a comprehensive eye examination to ensure they have the best possible vision and eye health to meet the demands of school work and extra-curricular activities. Beyond a vision screening, which typically measures distance clarity, a comprehensive exam also includes measurements of the potential need for eye glasses, eye alignment, depth perception, and color perception.  Additionally, symptomless, sight-threatening eye disease, such as glaucoma or retinal pathology, can also be screened by eye pressure measurement and a pupil-dilated examination.

The AOA recommends that children receive a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years, or more frequently based on risk factors or as recommended by a child’s doctor.

At our new Visual Services department at Harvard Vanguard Burlington, Dr. Lombardo is providing comprehensive eye examination in a relaxed, positive environment for children and adults, ages 5 and older.  Eye examinations with him may be scheduled at 781-221-2625.  To find other Harvard Vanguard locations that offer eye exams, please click here.

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About Dr. James Lombardo

Dr. James Lombardo is a board-certified optometrist who has been practicing for 17 years. After graduating with honors from both Austin Prep and Tufts University in Massachusetts, he received his optometry degree from the University of California at Berkeley, also with honors distinction. In Seattle, he completed elective Residency and Fellowship training in ocular disease, post-surgical care and routine eye examinations. After a successful career on the west coast, he has returned home to practice in Massachusetts. Since January 2011, he has provided comprehensive and routine eye exams for adults and children at Harvard Vanguard. He is accepting new patients at Harvard Vanguard's Burlington Visual Services department. He enjoys playing electric guitar, scuba diving, weightlifting and biking.

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