Annual eye exams important for growing children - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Annual eye exams important for growing children

Annual eye exams can help catch developing vision problems. (Source: WAFF) Annual eye exams can help catch developing vision problems. (Source: WAFF)

School is back in session, and now is the time when sight problems can often be discovered.

Is it time for your child to have their eyes examined?

Chris Selby, 17, has a vision problem a little different from his peers.  

"I think it was first to second grade; they came in with the school screening," Selby said. "They sent me home with a note to my mom saying I needed glasses. But I kinda can remember, sitting in class, getting headaches, struggling reading my books and things like that."

His optometrist is Dr. Chris Teichmiller.

"The most common thing we see is difficulty seeing the board and trying to see the distance," he said. "That's the most obvious and that's the on easiest to correct. The most difficult one or the hidden one, such as Chris has here, with difficulty with the up-close vision. They can focus their eyes, but they have to work much harder to do so."

Selby says the problem is not that bad on the surface.  

"As long as I'm not focused on anything close, it doesn't really bother me," he said.

He admits the distance, changing back and forth, can be problematic. Dr. Teichmiller says children sometimes get a bad rap because of a vision problem. 

"They may masquerade as disturbance problems in the classroom, or 'Johnny's not paying attention.' But they may have a problem just trying to read," said the doctor.

When children come in for an exam, they are often told about "blue light exposure," which can hurt. Blue light comes from tablets and cell phones.

"The vision problem and them being able to see things clearly sometimes goes undetected because the child doesn't have any obvious signs to compare it to. There's also how the eye muscles work together as far as eye teaming... one eye may turn in and out to the other."

The optometrist also recommends bringing your children in for an updated exam once a year. 

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