Are ‘Back to School’ Eye Exams Important?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, August 22, 2021

To ensure your child is ‘school-ready’, schedule an eye exam.

Academic success is largely dependent on healthy and clear vision— in fact 80 percent of learning comes through the visual system!

Any vision problem can therefore impact a child’s reading and learning

Vision is much more than how well you can see at varying distances. Vision is made up of 17 visual skills that make reading, writing, concentrating, playing sports— and practically every other skill — easy.

Clear and comfortable vision is possible when the visual system is working efficiently and the student’s visual skills are strong.

Are vision screenings reliable?


Many schools provide vision screenings that mainly test for distance vision clarity. This is an important assessment, as distance vision is essential for seeing the board clearly— but it’s not enough.

Vision screenings are not always reliable and are unable to test for all vision problems, especially those that can impact learning.

Bringing your child for a comprehensive eye exam performed by an eye doctor is the only way to be certain that your child’s vision is clear and comfortable.

If you have any concerns about your child’s reading or learning contact an eye doctor near you to schedule a functional vision evaluation.

SEE RELATED: Back to School Eye Exams

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Are ‘back to school’ eye exams important?


Eye doctors recommend bringing your children in for an eye exam before the start of the new school year. This will help to set your child up for academic success.

Brain scans show that 80% of learning is visual. 

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will assess your child’s eye health, visual acuity and visual skills. All of these aspects of vision are important for success both inside the classroom and on the sports field.

If your child has a refractive error, your eye doctor will provide an accurate glasses prescription to ensure your child can see well.

If your child has reduced visual skills and difficulties with convergence, eye teaming, focusing or any of the other visual skills, vision therapy may be recommended to improve those skills.

Bringing your child for a ‘back to school’ eye exam will ensure that your child has all the tools they need to reach their full potential.

Screen time and vision problems

As a result of the COVID pandemic, online learning has become the new normal. But parents, beware! According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, online classes have caused the allowance of daily screen time to double!

Prolonged screen time can cause digital eye strain (DES) and a wide range of symptoms that are not only uncomfortable, but can also make online learning more difficult.

If your child complains about online learning, and avoids school work or attending classes, they may have a vision problem.

Symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Eye pain
  • Eye fatigue
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder and neck pain

With the pandemic not yet behind us, online learning may still be a reality. If your child experiences frequent headaches or difficulty concentrating in front of the screen, they may have an undetected vision problem.

LEARN MORE: Vision for School  

Whether your child will be learning inside a classroom or from home, begin the school year on the right foot by scheduling an eye exam with an eye doctor near you

Vision is much more than how well you can see at varying distances. 

Vision is made up of 17 visual skills that impact reading, writing, concentrating, playing sports, and a child’s overall success in school.