Undetected Vision Problems in Kids and Teens

Functional vision problems in children are often overlooked. A child may be seeing fine with 20/20 vision but have poor functional vision skills, preventing him or her from functioning in the classroom as efficiently as his or her peers. If your student continues to struggle in school and has already had a vision test, consider getting a second opinion from a developmental optometrist. Here are five signs it may be time to get a second opinion:

Learning Struggles in School
If your child is bright or gifted but still struggles in school, you may want to get a second opinion from a developmental optometrist. This is especially true if teachers and staff can’t find anything wrong on their own or are suspecting dyslexia or attention problems as there is a high correlation with these conditions and visual learning issues.

You’re Unfamiliar with Vision Therapy
If you’re unfamiliar with vision therapy, it may be the case that your child’s physician or eye doctor is too. Ask physicians and eye doctors about functional vision problems to see if they’re familiar with the practice. If not, consider going to a developmental optometrist who has experience diagnosing and treating functional vision problems.

When a Diagnosis Doesn’t Make Sense
You may be confused if your child tested with 20/20 vision but still has blurry vision or eye tracking and processing issues – and you should be. The Snellen eye chart, the fun poster with letters and numbers of varying sizes, is used to determine an individual’s visual acuity – or the individual’s ability to see objects clearly at 20 feet only. This is not an appropriate method for detecting functional vision problems, which manifest in the form of difficulties with eye tracking, eye movement, and eye focusing, especially at near for school work and reading, not 20 feet away. While your child or student may have 20/20 vision, they may have a handful of other problems associated with eye function impacting school performance.

Surgery Is Suggested
If surgery is on the table, it’s time to get a second opinion from a vision therapist. This is especially true as surgery doesn’t address the underlying functional vision problems that may be present and interrupting school performance.

You’re Feeling Unsure
If you’re not confident about your child’s vision diagnosis, speak with a developmental optometrist to gather all the relevant information you can to properly address the issues and ease your concerns. Your intuition may be telling you something’s wrong, or treatment plans may not be working for your child. In these cases, we recommend getting a second opinion.

The Power of a Second Opinion
Getting a second opinion simply means finding another medical expert who can confirm or deny the original diagnosis. Separate tests will be done to support any final diagnoses. Our friends at The Vision Therapy Center provide some encouraging statistics for patients who aren’t sure about getting a second opinion. They mention a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic which found that 88% of patients seeking a second opinion received a new or refined diagnosis. If your child’s vision continues to be a problem or their academic struggles, know you’re not alone in having potentially received a faulty or incomplete diagnosis.

Speak with a Developmental Optometrist at OCVT Today
At The Optometry Center for Vision Therapy, we believe healthy vision is especially important for kids and teenagers in school, where vision tests only account for 5% of vision problems affecting children. For this reason, the American Optometry Association recommends children receive a complete vision evaluation the summer before they enter kindergarten, at OCVT this exams include screening vision skills needed for classroom work, reading and writing. Additionally, 60% of students who are identified as having problems with learning actually have undetected vision problems that go far beyond just needing glasses for eyesight.

Safeguard your child’s visual health and academic potential by visiting a pediatric developmental optometrist at OCVT. Our doctors ensure every child has a fair chance of learning in the classroom with eyes that function and see just as well as their peers’. Contact our team today to get an expert second opinion on the functional health of your child’s vision.

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