Did you know that many children have undetected vision problems? In fact, some estimates suggest that up to 25% of school-aged children may have issues with their eyes. That's why the American Optometric Association recommends regular eye exams for all children. Specifically, children should be examined at:
✅6 months of age,
✅when starting school,
✅every 12 months after starting school.
Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:
▪ premature birth
▪ developmental delays
▪ turned or crossed eyes
▪ family history of eye disease
▪ history of eye injury
▪ other physical illness or disease
The AOA recommends that children who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined at least every 12 months or according to their optometrist’s instructions. Don't let vision problems go unnoticed—schedule a pediatric eye exam today!
EYE EXAMS BIRTH-24 MONTHS As a parent, it's essential to monitor your baby's visual development, especially during their first two years of life. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam at 6 months is an important step in ensuring your child is reaching visual milestones and developing on track. During the exam, the eye doctor will test for proper vision and identify any potential conditions that could impact eye health or vision, such as strabismus or nearsightedness. For infants born prematurely or with developmental delays, more frequent visits may be necessary to prevent serious vision problems in the future. By taking these proactive steps, you can help your baby's visual system develop optimally and promote healthy growth and development.
EYE EXAMS IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN: AGES 2-5 Future Success during the toddler and preschool age, children undergo significant development in their intellectual and motor skills. To ensure these skills continue to grow, it's essential to maintain good vision and visual processes. This is why eye exams are crucial during this period, as they can help identify and treat conditions such as lazy eye (amblyopia) and crossed eyes (strabismus) early on. This increases the chances of successful treatment.
It's also important to be mindful of any developmental delays in areas such as object, number, or letter recognition, color recognition, and coordination. These can often result from visual issues. If your child exhibits symptoms like frequent eye rubbing, squinting, sitting too close to screens, or avoiding activities that require focus, a visit to the eye doctor may be necessary. Take a proactive approach to your child's visual health, and set them up for success in the future.
EYE EXAMS IN SCHOOL-AGED KIDS: AGES 6-18 Undetected or uncorrected vision problems in school-aged children can negatively impact their academic, social, athletic, and personal lives. As a parent or caregiver, it's important to be aware of the signs that your child may be experiencing visual issues. Symptoms such as frequent eye rubbing, squinting, sitting too close to screens, or avoiding activities that require focus are indicators that a visit to the eye doctor may be necessary. Additionally, older children may exhibit signs such as short attention span, headaches, frequent blinking, or poor reading comprehension. Regular eye exams can ensure that your child's vision is optimal and set them up for success in all aspects of their life. Often they do not know the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help.
In addition to the symptoms written above, signs of vision problems in older children include:
▪ Short attention span
▪ Frequent blinking
▪ Avoiding reading
▪ Tilting the head to one side
▪ Losing their place often while reading
▪ Double vision
▪ Poor reading comprehension
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE CHILDREN'S EYE EXAM
Basic visual acuity (distance and near vision, or refractive errors) will be tested by having your child read a series of letters, numbers or pictures. Here are some other key visual skills that a comprehensive eye exam may assess:
- Binocular vision
- Peripheral vision
- Color vision
- Hand-eye coordination
Additionally, the eye doctor will examine the area around and inside the eye for any signs of eye diseases or health conditions. It's important to share any relevant personal history with the doctor, such as premature birth or family history of eye problems.
If your child is diagnosed with a vision problem, there are various treatment options that may be discussed, such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, or myopia control. Remember, early detection and intervention can be crucial in treating certain conditions. Stay vigilant and follow guidelines for regular eye exams to help ensure your child reaches their full potential.
Don't let vision problems go unnoticed—schedule a pediatric eye exam today! Text or call 918-743-6334.