7-27-2011 - California Optometric Association
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Children Need High-Tech Vision to Thrive in Today’s Classrooms

California Optometric Association helps parents spot vision problems early.

Sacramento, CA (July 27, 2011) Classrooms around the country are becoming increasingly high-tech, and teachers are incorporating 3D educational tools such as digital devices and advanced computer applications into their daily curriculum. While these instruments can greatly enhance learning, they can be problematic for a whopping 25% of children who head back to school this year due to undetected vision problems. Having low-tech vision in a 3D world could hamper learning and even lead to physical discomfort.

“Children who have even a small vision misalignment or those who lack equal vision in both eyes may not be able to perceive 3D images properly,” explains Dr. Carl Hillier of the California Optometric Association. “Watching 3D imagery, which creates the illusion of depth by presenting each eye with a slightly different image, can unmask ulterior issues such as lazy eye, convergence insufficiency, poor focusing skills and other visual problems students might not have previously known existed.”

These conditions often manifest in poor reading ability and performance in sports as well as low self-esteem; all problems that could follow a child throughout life. Three-dimensional imaging technology can maximize student experience by allowing for virtual tours of museums or even 360 degree views from inside the human heart. But, combined with the recreational use of video games or television, the use of 3D imagery in school compounds the demands placed on young eyes.

Early detection and treatment are critical in correcting vision problems and helping students reach their highest potential, but how is a parent to know? Look for these five warning signs that your child may be part of the 25% who will be at a disadvantage in the classroom this year.

  • Returns from seeing a 3D movie feeling dizzy, nauseous or with a headache; or child doesn’t see a difference between 2D and 3D images
  • Trouble hitting or catching a ball
  • Clumsy, often bumping into things
  • Frequently loses place when reading or uses a finger to follow words
  • Discomfort and avoidance of reading and 3D viewing

Studies have proven that early intervention and treatment can reverse vision conditions and put students on the path to success. The California Optometric Association advises parents and students to prepare for the new academic year by scheduling a comprehensive optometric eye exam. You can find an optometrist in your area by logging onto www.eyehelp.org and ensuring that your child is prepared for the many demands of the electronic world of 2011.

Established in 1899, the California Optometric Association is California's oldest organized community for optometrists. Representing optometrists thoughout the state, COA is dedicated to ensuring the highest quality of health care for the public through the advancement of optometry. Learn more at www.coavision.orgwww.Facebook.com/CaliforniaOptometric  and www.Twitter.com/COA_Vision.

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