|This young patient's depth perception is being tested by an Optometric Intern at the Eye Care Center, Southern California College of Optometry. Stereopsis testing, or depth perception, is a part of a comprehensive eye exam and is not routinely tested during a vision screening. Adequate depth perception ensures that your child is using both eyes together correctly.|
A comprehensive eye exam should be on the list of things to do when preparing a child to return to the classroom. "Vision plays a vital role in learning and it's important that every child can see clearly so they can perform all their academic tasks; especially, as he or she begins a new school year," said Associate Professor Carmen Barnhardt, O.D., M.S.Ed., chief, Studt Center for Vision Therapy, Eye Care Center, Southern California College of Optometry. "August is National Children's Vision and Learning Month and we want all children to be ready to learn.
"A comprehensive vision exam goes well beyond a typical vision screening and it's important even if your child has passed the vision screening," notes Dr. Barnhardt. "Many vision problems that interfere with reading and learning can be missed by a routine vision screening. A comprehensive vision exam will evaluate several factors including eye movement that's vital for tracking along a line of print; focusing near to far that's important for copying from the board; how well one maintains clear focus for the length of time required to function in school and complete homework; eye teaming or being able to use both eyes together correctly; as well as depth perception, and other vision skills."
It's vital that parents and educators know the signs that a vision problem is interfering with academic performance. Specifically, the five most common signs that a binocular vision disorder may be interfering with a child's ability to read and learn include: 1. Skips or rereads lines, 2. Poor reading comprehension or avoids reading, 3. Homework takes longer than it should, 4. Complains of headaches, blurry vision or other discomfort while reading, and 5. Has a short attention span with reading and schoolwork.
To schedule a comprehensive vision care exam for your child call 714.992.7870.
Established in 1904, SCCO is a private, non-profit, educational institution dedicated to educating today's minds to provide tomorrow's eye, vision and health care. SCCO grants a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS), it also offers a Vision Care Assistant (VCA) Program. The College's superior clinical education program provides patient care experiences in community optometric clinics; exposure to the delivery of optometric care in multi-disciplinary settings; and experiences in practices serving a wide variety of ethnic and socio-economic patient groups. SCCO owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – the Eye Care Center located on its campus in Fullerton, CA, and the Optometric Center of Los Angeles located in south-central LA.