Millions of children started school this year with a vision problem that may inhibit their ability to learn and ultimately affect them the rest of their lives. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends comprehensive eye exams especially for children entering preschool and kindergarten. “Some children with undiagnosed vision problems are incorrectly misdiagnosed as having a learning disorder,” added Ken Preston of Xspectical Eye Care in Washington, D.C.
Currently 33 states and Washington, D.C. require only basic vision screenings in schools. However, the AOA believes that simple screenings are not enough. “Screenings do not measure important factors such as visual alignment and eye tracking. A comprehensive exam will test for these and other disorders,” added Dr. Valerie Kattouf, O.D., associate professor, Illinois College of Optometry. In the first year that Kentucky made comprehensive exams mandatory, the exam results showed that 14% of the kids needed corrective lenses.