Unfortunately, children can develop various eye conditions, negatively affecting their lives. As a parent, you want to get your little ones off to the best start in every way, including their eye health. Young kids tend to be visual learners. Do you know when to have your child's eyes checked? If not, you are not alone. According to eye care professionals, it is best to start early.
Some eye conditions can develop in childhood and affect your child's vision for life. Fortunately, detecting and addressing a minor eye condition as soon as possible can prevent it from worsening and becoming harder to treat. So, pediatric eye exams are not merely a way to determine whether children need glasses. Pediatric eye exams are about preventative care like regular physicals with your physician.
Your pediatrician may perform a brief vision screening at your little one's annual physical. However, such screenings are not a substitute for comprehensive exams conducted by a trained and licensed eye doctor.
A pediatric eye doctor will use specific diagnostic and clinical assessments and tools to determine your little one’s visual abilities and eye health. After all, most learning skills depend on various visual skills. These include excellent distance vision, accurate eye movement, binocular vision, and more.
Eye care professionals recommend that kids have their first comprehensive eye checkup at six months. That will help determine whether their eyes are developing well. It would be best if you took your children for annual eye exams before age three, and again before school age.
According to the American Optometric Association, babies with no symptoms of vision or eye problems should have their first eye exam at six months of age. But if your child is at risk of developing vision issues, your eye doctor may recommend the first eye exam at an earlier age.
Those at low risk of vision issues or are asymptomatic should get their next comprehensive eye checkup at least once before their fifth year. Kids at risk of vision or eye irregularities should have their eyes examined as often as their eye doctor suggests.
Children aged six years and older without vision issues should ideally have annual comprehensive eye exams. Those likely to develop or are currently experiencing vision problems may need a more frequent examination schedule, depending on the severity of their condition.
You should expect to answer questions regarding your little one's birth history, birth weight, medical history, and family history of eye disease. Be honest with your pediatric eye doctor about any delay in your child's motor development if you notice the following:
Poor tracking skills
Inability to maintain eye contact
Frequent blinking or eye rubbing
You should also mention if your child failed a vision screening performed at a pediatrician's office or school. Eye testing for infants typically involves three tests designed to determine whether their eyes are developing well. These include:
Preferential looking test
Fixate and follow tests
Even if your child passed a school vision screening, eye doctors strongly recommend a schedule of comprehensive eye checkups. That is because school vision screenings do not test for all vision problems and eye conditions affecting kids.
For more about pediatric eye exams, visit True Vision Optometry at our Montebello, California office. Call (323) 403-4116 to schedule an appointment today.