Back-to-school checklists include school supplies, uniforms and new sneakers. Eye doctors at the UTMB Health Optical Center encourage parents to add an eye exam to their child’s back-to-school list. Young eyes can change quickly so an annual exam by an optometrist ensures that your children SEE their best to DO their best in school.

Annual eye exams can detect eye problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, so that they can be corrected.

One of the most common vision problems is nearsightedness, making objects blurred at a distance. Reading the blackboard or catching a ball can be difficult for children who are nearsighted.  Because the eye continues to grow throughout childhood and up to the age of 20, most nearsightedness begins while people are still in school.

UTMB Optometrist Dr. Praveena Gupta explained that nearsightedness is caused by too much curvature in the cornea or when the eyeball becomes elongated. When this happens, light entering the eye does not focus as it should. The result is blurred images at a distance.