SAN ANTONIO -

Soon-to-be 5th-grader Ekko Sparks has been wearing glasses for the past year. 

Her grandmother said thanks to glasses, she's further excelled in the gifted and talented program at her school.

“She was focusing a whole lot better after she got her glasses because she was understanding what she was looking at on the board," said grandmother Maria Sparks.

According to optometrist Dr. Florian Safner, he said parents often assume school eye screenings are just as good as seeing an optometrist.

Unfortunately, he said, they're helpful, but they don't detect eye disorders.

“When you come into an optometrist office, you are getting a full eye health evaluation. It's refractive error determination, focusing ability, eyes working together," said Safner.

Unless parents notice something out of the ordinary, a good age to bring kids to their first eye exam  is at the age of 4, because they usually know their letters and numbers by then. 

"It's never too early to start. Age 4 is a good benchmark, then every year thereafter," said Safner.

Nowadays, he said even if kids need glasses, it's considered cool, thanks to more selection being offered to children.

“With some of the shapes and colors, there's a whole variety of styles that appeal to kids," said Safner.

He further said follow-up care is important, as well as listening to your doctor as to how long the child should wear the glasses. 

For a list of recent stories Mariza Mendoza has done, click here.