Parent Survival Guide: The importance of yearly eye exams for kids

VIDEO: Parent Survival Guide: The importance of yearly eye exams for kids

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Darren Maldanado, 15, and his 16-year-old brother Joshua are getting their annual eye exam.

“I come every year and get a check up and do what the doctor says,” Maldanado.

Greg Maldanao says he noticed his younger son, Darren, started having problems seeing around the age of 8 after getting a call from his teacher.

“One of the teachers told me he was not paying attention and I asked him and he said,'He was not seeing the board,'” says Maldanado.

Optometrist Dr. Chris Holstead of Jackson Davenport says eye exams are very important and should start around pre-k to kindergarten unless you suspect issues earlier.

He says some kids show obvious signs of vision problems: reading and watching TV too closely, or squinting often.

For some kids the signs might be less obvious.

“Those are the kids who go undiagnosed and their reading comprehension drops," Holstead said."They have problems in school and they have headaches, eyes tired they come home and rub the eyes mimicking allergies but in fact they are straining too hard to see."

Holstead says vision is directly related to your child being able to learn at school so he says getting your child’s vision checked on a yearly basis is important.

In fact he says 90 percent of what we learn is through our sight.

“Recognition and seeing things, and when kids can’t see things right, they struggle with processing information and learning becomes a challenge,” says Holstead.

Joshua and Darren checked out some new glasses, and Darren says getting his eyes checked regularly with an eye doctor has made a difference in his grades and his confidence.

“It’s way better. I can see 20 /20 perfect,” says Maldanado.

“Vision is the very critical first point in making sure kids have all the tools they need to be successful in school,” says Holstead.

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