ZocdocAnswersMy child is having trouble at school. Is it time to see an optometrist?

Question

My child is having trouble at school. Is it time to see an optometrist?

My 10-year-old child has always done well in school, and he has never struggled or required tutoring until recently. His last report card showed that he is now having trouble in school despite getting special help from a tutor. When I talked to him about it, he mentioned that his teacher had moved his desk to the back of the classroom a few weeks ago. This seems to be when the trouble with his schoolwork began, and I think he may be having trouble seeing the board from his new seat. While I have talked to his teacher about getting his desk relocated, do you think that he should see an optometrist for an eye exam?

Answer

Vision screenings and eye exams are of primary importance and I recommend you to schedule a visit with a pediatrician or an optometrist to have your child's vision checked out. Regular eye examinations are important to make sure that your child's eyes and vision are developed normally. An eye exam helps detect many sight-threatening diseases at their earliest stage while a child's vision still undergoes development and therefore is more responsive to treatments. The most important preventive step is receiving routine examinations. Children can be tested at any age. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that children have their comprehensive eye exams at about 6 months, 3 years of age, and before they enter first grade at about 5 or 6 years of age. For school-aged children, it is recommended that they have an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is needed. Those children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eye exams annually or as recommended by their optometrist or ophthalmologist. In your child's case, it appears that vision problems can be the reason he does not perform well at school, for example because he cannot see the board. Please bring in your child to a pediatrician first to get an eye evaluation and then a referral to an optometrist for further evaluation and treatment if needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.