Add Eye Exams To Your
Back-To-School Shopping List

During August, families across the country prepare for their children to go back to school. In Pennsylvania alone, children between the ages of 5 and 18 account for approximately 16% of the population – that’s over 2 Million children (U.S. Census 2013). Many of these children are excited to be seeing old classmates again; some are nervous about what the new year will bring and what their teachers will be like; and others, like Abby, don’t want to return.

Abby was a good student for most of last year. She had lots of friends. She met her teacher previously and liked her. So what happened to cause Abby’s disinterest? Let’s take a closer look.

Toward the end of last school year Abby began to have problems seeing what was written on the chalk board. She didn’t tell anyone, but both her teacher and parents noticed that she wasn’t paying attention as much and it took longer to complete her homework. Her parents signed her up for a summer reading program, thinking she needed some extra support in that area. Abby began to get headaches and found reading difficult. Several times a day Abby texted her friends. By the end of summer she was holding her phone much closer to her eyes than before. She also began sitting closer to the television. Abby’s mom didn’t realize that Abby was looking at video screens – phone apps, video games, television, computer – as many hours each day as she was. In fact, the American Optometric Association reports that 83% of children state they use electronic devices more than three hours a day. (The study also revealed that their parents believed the time spent with electronics was much less.)

Abby was exhibiting many signs of a possible vision problem. Other signs may include:

  • blurry vision,
  • double vision,
  • rubbing of the eyes,
  • sensitivity to light, and
  • watery eyes.

Abby’s mother scheduled an exam with an eye care professional who determined that Abby was nearsighted. Abby picked the eyeglass frames she liked best, and her mom made sure they were fitted with polycarbonate lenses so they wouldn’t break as quickly. The doctor reminded Abby to follow the 20-20-20 rule as well – Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something that is 20 feet away.

Now Abby is excited to start the new school year. Abby and her mother are reminding friends to get eye exams as part of their back-to-school routine.

 This article was originally published by


August is National Eye Exam Month

August has been officially recognized as National Eye Exam Month and right now is the time for your comprehensive eye exam…

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, the frequency of eye exams is dependent on an individual’s age, race, past ocular history, medical history, family history of eye disease, and types of symptoms or ocular findings encountered. Children should visit the eye doctor annually, as well as adults over 50 years old or suffering from diabetes. Adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease are recommended to see an ophthalmologist every two to four years.

The Vision Council of America states that 12.2 million Americans require some sort of vision correction but don’t use any and 48% of parents with children under 12 have never taken their children to an eye care professional. Here are five reasons to get an eye exam by an eye doctor:

  • Save a Headache. If you have been having unexplained, constant headaches, your solution could be visiting your ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist can pinpoint the problem of your headaches.
  • Perform Well in School. One out of every four children have vision problems; a common reason children fall behind in school is poor, undetected vision. Taking your children to the optometrist can detect an eyesight problem that can contribute to learning and reading difficulties.
  • Determine Prescription. Your eyes change over time. An eye doctor can determine if you need eyeglasses or contacts, or if you need a stronger prescription to reduce eyestrain and increase your visibility.
  • Detect Eye Conditions. An ophthalmologist is able to spot the early onset signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma and high cholesterol just by looking at the eye.
  • Prevent Conditions. Many serious eye diseases often have no symptoms. An eye doctor will see the early signs of diseases such as macular degeneration or cataracts. Early detection is important to prevent serious damage.

Take care of your eyes. If you haven’t recently had a comprehensive eye exam, schedule on now. Your vision and health depend on it.

 This article was originally published by


Vision Resource Center provides programs and services to blind and visually impaired individuals in Berks County. Call 610-375-8407 for more information.  Make sure you like us on Facebook, too.