Unnoticed vision problems can affect academic success in children
Dr. Özge Yabaş Kızıloğlu, an eye specialist, emphasized the importance of well-functioning visual skills in children for effective education. She stated that children with problems in any of their visual skills find learning difficult and stressful. Drawing attention to symptoms such as headaches and eye fatigue that can indicate vision problems in children, Dr. Yabaş Kızıloğlu said, "Children may not be aware of their vision problems. Therefore, it is important for both parents and teachers to be vigilant about this. Eye examinations by an eye doctor should not be neglected when children return to school."
In these early days of the new school year, it is important not to neglect health check-ups while fulfilling all the needs for education. Dr. Özge Yabaş Kızıloğlu, an Eye Specialist at Yeditepe University Hospitals, emphasized the significance of children's health in their academic achievements. She explained that unnoticed vision problems, in particular, could be a contributing factor to children's academic struggles.
Dr. Y. Kızıloğlu stated that having a comprehensive eye examination when returning to school is as crucial as obtaining the necessary learning materials. She said, "Reading, writing, and using a computer are visual tasks that students perform every day. The significantly increased time spent on reading and studying places a significant burden on children's eyes. Proper functioning of visual functions is essential for children to learn effectively."
Regarding the impact of vision on learning, Dr. Yabaş Kızıloğlu provided the following information:
"As children grow and progress to higher grades, they require visual skills more intensively. They should be able to see the chalkboard at a distance, the computer screen at an intermediate distance, and books and notebooks up close clearly. They should also be able to focus quickly and accurately from one of these different distances to another. Additionally, for skills such as tracking lines or following moving objects using both eyes and depth perception, the eyes must work in parallel, coordinating their movements correctly with each other. For example, a child with clear vision in both eyes, with 10/10 vision, may still have issues related to focus, tracking, and coordination between the eyes."
"Children may not be aware of vision problems"
Doç. Dr. Yabaş Kızıloğlu, explained that if any of the visual skills do not function properly in a child, effective learning can become difficult, leading to stress and ultimately, academic difficulties. She emphasized the need for parents and teachers to be vigilant about signs that could indicate a child's vision problem because children may not realize that they have an issue with their vision. Dr. Yabaş Kızıloğlu listed the symptoms that can indicate a child is experiencing vision problems, including frequent headaches, frequently rubbing and blinking their eyes, fatigue, short attention span, avoiding reading and close-up activities, losing their place while reading, skipping lines, holding reading materials very close to their face, closing one eye, tilting their head to one side, one eye turning inward or outward, and experiencing double vision.
These visual problems are most commonly seen in school-age children
Doç. Dr. Özge Yabaş Kızıloğlu emphasized that the earlier vision problems in children are detected and treated, the higher the likelihood of successful treatment. She mentioned that the most common vision problems in school-age children include myopia (inability to see distant objects clearly), hypermetropia (inability to see nearby objects clearly), and astigmatism, which causes blurry vision due to refractive errors. She also pointed out that conditions like hidden strabismus, focusing issues, and dry eye are frequently encountered eye problems in children.
It can manifest with symptoms like hyperactivity and attention problems
Doç. Dr. Özge Yabaş Kızıloğlu, emphasizing the importance of having a comprehensive eye examination when returning to school, stated that it is as crucial as obtaining the necessary learning materials. She pointed out that since a child's vision can change frequently during their school years, at least an annual eye examination is necessary. Dr. Yabaş Kızıloğlu also reminded that untreated vision problems can manifest with symptoms like hyperactivity and attention problems, highlighting the need for comprehensive vision examinations to prevent misdiagnosis in children suspected of having attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.