When our children are born, we schedule their first pediatric appointment and from there, we make sure they get their regularly scheduled shots and vaccinations, take them to their dental appointments, and make sure that their overall health is attended to. But have we possibly forgotten a critical step?
Vision testing is a significantly overlooked facet in our children’s health and well-being. We may feel that we’re covering all our bases when our children’s vision is “screened” in a doctor’s office or at school, but the vision-screening test has some significant flaws. Dr. Juawana Hall of Hillcrest Vision shares, “Vision screening only takes into account a child’s ability to read from a specified distance. It does not provide any details on an ability to focus, work closely, or overall health of the eyes. Yet, many parents view it as a definitive diagnosis for 20/20 vision of their children. Compare it to the act of having your blood pressure tested. Your results may fall within the normal range, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t health problems.”
For instance, your child may hate to read. Perhaps you love to read and are disappointed and frustrated that your child doesn’t share your enthusiasm. Or your child avoids homework and when he or she does sit down to do it, speeds through as quickly as possible, making sloppy errors that you don’t know how they overlooked. It may not be excess energy or an inability to sit still. The matter may be rooted in an inability to focus on the words of a page. Without someone addressing the matter early, a child may never learn to enjoy reading and rush through assignments because the task is so unpleasant.
Dr. Hall and her team can save years of frustration in the classroom. “Problems diagnosed early may completely revolutionize students’ learning experiences,” said Dr. Hall.
After all, your child may not be able to communicate his or her inability to focus. They may not be able to share that their vision is poor, because to them, it’s the norm. Since they may not be able to express their frustrations, they may assume they are stupid, since everyone else seems to “get it.”
If this sounds familiar, you may be feeling “Mom guilt” right now. But don’t let that get you down—after all, from the moment they’re born, our Mommy brains are re-wired for it, and Dr. Hall isn’t going to let you feel guilty about it. But she is going to encourage you to address it. The solution is a matter of a simple phone call to her office. “I see it all the time,” said Dr. Hall. “We know parents aren’t purposefully neglecting their children’s vision health, and as moms—we like to beat ourselves up over every perceived error we make. But while vision care may be a significantly underrated health matter in our community, it’s also an easy appointment to make that won’t take long, no needles are involved, and it could make a world of difference to your child.”
“Even if your child isn’t capable of expressing if it’s ‘better one or better two,’ we are trained to work with children as young as six months old,” said Dr. Hall. “I’ve had children in my office for whom, through a vision examination, I was able to detect diabetes as well as eye cancer.” While those scenarios are thankfully rare, it’s well worth an hour of your and your child’s time to spend with a vision professional and ensure that everything is okay.
If you’re in the market for a new eye doctor, you won’t be disappointed with the personal and attentive service at Hillcrest Vision. Check them out at HillcrestVision.com, or better yet, call 760.2020 to make an appointment! Hillcrest Vision is conveniently located at 2341 Winterhaven Lane in Winston-Salem, just off of Stratford Road in between Cities and Sheetz.