New Classes, New Glasses: Start the School Year Right

July 22, 2019
News

MyEyeDr. encourages annual eye exams for all students to detect early signs of myopia

Vienna, Va. (July 22, 2019) – Good vision is key for academic success. Because daily classroom tasks require students to have strong visual abilities, an untreated eye condition, like myopia, can impact their progress and performance in school. With children’s eyes constantly at work, a comprehensive eye exam is necessary to ensure the best possible learning environment.  That said, an article from Education Week Research Center reports one in three children haven’t had their vision tested in the past two years – if at all.

Eye exams may not be at the top of the back to school checklist, but parents should make them a priority, as one of the most prevalent vision impairments in children is myopia, a condition that causes blurry vision at a distance and can increase difficulty focusing. A study from the USC Eye Institute suggests screen time largely contributes to the development of myopia. In fact, 42 percent of the current United States population is affected by myopia, doubling in just one generation, with a projection of one of every two adults impacted by 2050.

While increased digital device usage and decreased time outdoors are factors that contribute to a larger prevalence of myopia among the population, those diagnosed with myopia are more prone to retinal tears and detachments, glaucoma and myopic macular degeneration.  It’s important students take note of the below tips from MyEyeDr. to minimize the risk and/or impact of myopia as they head back to school.

Arrange an eye-friendly workspace. Organize a space in your home that optimizes workflow without straining your student’s eyes. Position the desk so that digital devices are sitting at least 20 inches away from their face to decrease eye strain. Ensure the workspace allows for proper posture with a chair at a height that allows feet to be flat on the floor.

Schedule breaks. Encourage children to give their eyes a break. Whether this is short and simple, incorporating the 20-20-20 rule by looking away from digital devices at an object on the wall, at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes; or breaking up the day with some time outside, limiting digital device usage can reduce the harmful effects increased exposure can have on the eyes.  According to The Vision Council, children who play outside regularly are 23 percent less likely to develop myopia, or nearsightedness. Parents can even consider this a reward for children who have learned how best to manage their digital device usage. 

Get the right tools for the job. Prepping your child for a healthy and successful academic year goes beyond preventative measures. Invest in the right lenses to correct vision and ensure academic performance. Consider a stylish pair of Converse, Nike or Zoobug frames, a London-based eyewear brand made just for kids, with special lenses to reduce digital eye strain and compliment your child’s personal style while protecting their eyes.

Schedule an annual eye exam. Headaches, clumsiness, decreased attention span and poor academic performance can all be related to vision impairment or not wearing the right prescription. Parents must adhere to an ‘every kid, every year’ mantra for back to school eye exams. Healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to learn and achieve their academic potential, as well as playing sports and other activities.
Lead by example. Set the example for your child by placing priority on your eye health and following these tips. Your child will be much more invested in their own eye health when they see you taking necessary preventative measures.   

“The Vision Council reports more than 70 percent of American adults believe their child receives over two hours of screen time per day,” said Dr. Artis Beatty, chief medical officer at MyEyeDr. “However, nearly 25 percent of parents are still not concerned about the impact of digital devices on their child's developing eyes. Managing screen time within your family can improve your child’s visual ability and ensure they have all the tools to succeed in school, including proper vision health.”

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 billion people globally live with vision impairment. Schedule an annual eye exam to understand where your child’s vision stands today, in preparation for a healthy and successful academic year.