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Encouraging back-to-school eye exams for patients with children

Back-to-school season is here! For the ECP, this time of year should be an opportunity to prep your practice for conversations around children’s eye health.


Below are some tools, resources, and tips for enabling these specific patient conversations, improving the patient experience overall, and offering the right lens solutions for a new school year.


School screenings help but don’t solve 

School vision screenings are useful for detecting certain vision problems like nearsightedness; however, they aren’t performed by eye care professionals trained for specific vision conditions and issues. The screening is very limited, and often many vision problems go undetected and continue to affect the child’s ability to learn and perform in school.


Teachers are often the first to notice vision struggles – though they already carry so much on their shoulders. The local ECP is the person with the knowledge and foresight to help these students see at their best so they can learn at their best.


Discussing children’s eye exams with your patients 

As an ECP, you know the importance of back-to-school eye exams for children. But how do you emphasize this importance with your patients who have children?


Educate them

Explain that roughly 80 percent of what a child learns before age 13 is presented visually, so it’s not surprising that good vision is necessary for optimal learning. And, given that even preschoolers these days routinely use computers and portable electronic devices, it’s reasonable to assume that detecting vision problems early is more important than ever.


Emphasize vision-related skills children need for school

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), every child needs the following vision skills for effective reading and learning:


  • Visual acuity: seeing clearly at various distances, such as a whiteboard or computer screen
  • Eye focusing: the ability to focus as the distance from objects change
  • Eye tracking: the ability to keep eyes on a particular target when looking from one object to another
  • Eye teaming: coordinating both eyes to focus when scanning a page and seeing depth for classwork or sports
  • Eye-hand coordination: using visual information to monitor and direct the hands simultaneously 
  • Visual perception: organizing images into letters, words, and ideas to understand what’s being read


Giving your patients an idea of what their child needs may drive some urgency around seeing where their child is at with these vision skills.


Explain the signs of vision problems in children

While your patient may not feel their child has vision problems now, you can enable them with the signs and symptoms of learning-related vision problems:


  • Skipping or rereading lines 
  • Avoiding reading and other close activities
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Reversing letters like “b” into “d” when reading 
  • A short attention span with reading and schoolwork
  • Complaints of discomfort and fatigue
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Covering one eye 
  • Tilting the head to one side 


Read more at the AOA.


Discuss blue light with your patients 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that:


  • Children ages 8 to 10 spend an average of 6 hours per day viewing screens
  • Kids ages 11 to 14 spend an average of 9 hours per day viewing screens
  • Youth ages 15 to 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day viewing screens


Many of your patients may not even realize their symptoms of digital eye strain (DES) and computer vision syndrome (CVS) are related since many symptoms, such as itchy eyes, are easily confused with another cause, like allergies or dry eyes. 


Take a few minutes to educate your patients on the impact of digital eye strain and help them diagnose whether or not they – or their children – are experiencing eye strain symptoms.


Premium computer lens designs, like HOYA’s Sync IIITM boost lens design, are answering the call by offering accommodative support and reducing the visual stresses from too much screen time.


Download our digital eye strain one-pager for a reference you can return to.

Download One-Pager

Discuss UV light and lifestyle 

With increased ultraviolet light exposure overall, children are at risk of damage while they’re outside. For these young patients, it's even more critical to prescribe lenses that protect against UV rays – photochromic lenses that aren’t cumbersome or cause them to remove their glasses throughout the day.


Back-to-school season is still a good time to educate your patients on the importance of sunglasses for children. Feel free to use some of our tips for communicating the value of prescription sunwear, and download our sun protection white papers to get the conversation started just in time for the new school year.

Download White Papers

Prep your practice for back-to-school season

Make the most of the Visionary Alliance (VA)

As members of the Visionary Alliance program, ECPs are able to earn points for every eligible purchase of qualifying HOYA products. As you earn points, your status increases from Insider to Pro to Elite – and simultaneously, you unlock more benefits and rewards along the way.


To get your practice ready for back-to-school season, make the most of your Visionary Alliance membership to see which promotions are offering bonus points on premium products.


Market your practice 

Finding the right marketing tools to help you stand out from the competition can be overwhelming. HOYA's suite of marketing tools will help simplify how ECPs promote their practice, exhibit their value, and engage with their patients.

Access Marketing Tools

In the meantime, share something customer-facing on your social media, like our blog post, The value your ECP offers you.


Create a patient journey

Creating a patient journey starts the moment a patient makes an appointment, and the journey continues until they leave with a new vision solution they are happy with. Think through how you want to embrace the back-to-school season from the first interaction.


If you can make the first moment to the last educational, prescription, and authoritative, your patients will feel taken care of and understand what you’re offering them and their children.


Don’t forget about the grownups! Workplace eye health and safety 

The most overlooked dangers to eye health in the workplace: digital eye strain from blue light and solar blue light, and UV damage from the sun. There are benefits of talking about workplace eye health and safety with patients in the post-summer-vacation days.


When you bring up the workplace specifically, you’re able to:


  • Find out more about your patient’s daily life 
  • Build long-lasting rapport with them
  • Pinpoint certain scenarios where their eyes may be at risk
  • Offer solutions to those workplace eye health problems
  • Further educate your staff around workplace eye health
  • Enable and encourage staff to engage with customers on this topic
Back-to-School White Papers 2023