Vision and learning

As the summer period ends, parents are running around trying to get everything ready for their kids to start school. Uniforms, books, a new bag and pencil case are just some of the errands need to be done nowadays. The stress of it all as well as the more pressing ‘needs’ of all the other things make the child’s vision not a priority in their mind. Especially if the child has not complained and seems to be functioning perfectly without an eye check.

However, vision is one of the main prerequisites for the best possible performance at school and university. Think that 80% of the information we receive regarding our surroundings are from our eyes. The increasing use of screens has made regular specialized eye testing even more advisable. Studies have shown that 1 in 5 students have an undiagnosed eye problem. Also that only 20% of students check their eyes. However, 80% of teenagers are having symptoms related to eye strain due to excessive screen time.Good vision for school is not just to see 100%. The two eyes need to work together as a pair sufficiently, there needs to be good peripheral awareness, good visual tracking for the print and fast reading, efficient visual discrimination, good convergence and of course good eye health. It is not needed that the parent understands what all these mean, its enough to be aware that special attention needs to be given to these parameters. That is why there are the School Vision tests by specialised optometrists who check these seven, ‘quality of vision’ parameters and advice accordingly.

If all of the above are taken into consideration, parents need to do what they can to create the best conditions for learning. Amittendly, it is very hard to stop a teenager from looking at his/her phone all the time but at least the right glasses can be worn, suitable exercises can be given and reasonable advise that the children may listen to. Good luck to all. Wishing you all a fantastic start to a hopefully rewarding and enjoyable school year.