Backpacks, clothes, shoes and school supplies are at the top of the list for parents as they send their children back to school. These items are essential to prepare children for a successful year. With the busy pace of a new school year, eye exams are often missed. However, a child’s vision changes frequently during the early school years, adding importance to getting a functional eye exam. For income-eligible children living in Bradford, Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties, North Central Sight Services, Inc. (NCSS) is here to help.
NCSS’s Functional Vision Clinic provides income-eligible children with a complete eye examination with a pediatric optometrist who specializes in testing for visual-related learning problems. The clinic is held monthly at NCSS’s facility in Williamsport and the cost of an exam is $10.
According to the American Optometric Association, at least 5% of preschoolers and 25% of school-aged children have vision problems. These problems create complications when the eyes try to send accurate and clear messages to the brain.
It is not uncommon for young children to have difficulty identifying and communicating vision problems. Parents and caregivers can help by looking for the following common signs of vision issues in their children:
- Poor eye-hand coordination
- Alternate uses of the right and left hands
- Difficulty when studying visual information
- Trouble concentrating and learning
- Closing one eye during activities like reading or watching TV
- Avoiding activities that require near vision (reading, homework, computer use) or distance vision (sports, other recreational activities)
- Poor school performance
- Headaches and/or complaints of tired eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyes tear up for no apparent reason
A comprehensive exam at NCSS’s Functional Vision Clinic can identify potential vision issues and offer solutions if any problems are identified.
As a new school year is now underway, parents are encouraged to consider the eye health of their children and reach out to NCSS to schedule an exam. In addition to clothes and school supplies, a functional eye exam is a critical part of preparing your child to have a successful school year.
For more than 65 years, NCSS has assisted individuals who are blind or visually impaired to live independently and maximize their quality of life. The organization helps prevent vision loss through education programs and screenings for children and adults. NCSS offers adjustment services for people losing their vision, support services, employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired, and a prevention of blindness program.
For more information on vision screenings and related services, contact NCSS at (570) 323-9401.