A thorough eye exam is an often-overlooked doctor’s appointment for most children in their developmental years. However, a comprehensive exam for young children is an absolute must to ensure proper development and healthy eyes. This is especially true when kids are too young to talk. Many severe conditions that affect children’s eyes aren’t painful, so they won’t cry or vocalize the issue in a manner that the parents can understand. Only an optometrist with special equipment can determine if there is an immediate issue that requires intervention and treatment.More often than not, poor eyesight is inherited from the parents or grandparents of a child. If you have a family of eyeglass wearers, this is all the more reason for us to evaluate and treat your child for what may be looming in their future. There are many visual options available to kids that can help to slow the worsening of their vision and give them a better quality of life.
How Does the Pediatric Eye Exam Work?
Our experienced eye doctors are specially trained to examine pediatric patients during their eye exam. They use special tools and techniques that don’t require the child to give the doctor any feedback, which is especially useful for children that are too young to talk. All of the measurements are completely painless and designed for children with shorter attention spans. We even have special eye charts designed with pictures instead of letters for toddlers that can speak, but don’t quite know their ABC’s.
When Should My Child Have Their First Eye Exam?
A child’s first exam should occur well before they enter preschool. This is to ensure that they can focus on objects at a distance as well as up close. It’s hard for a teacher to do their job if the student can’t see what is happening at the front of the classroom.The timing of the first exam is important because if a visual impairment is left undiagnosed, the brain adapts to the blurry vision. It becomes the baseline, and the child may never know what the world around them is supposed to look like with perfect sight.
Can My Child Fake an Eye Exam?
We get asked this question a lot from parents. Sometimes parents are worried that their child desires glasses, so their child will intentionally get the questions “wrong” in an exam. Other times, parents are worried that our doctors will somehow miss something and be outwitted by a child. There is absolutely no possibility of any of the above situations happening with our eye doctors and the equipment they use. The only outcome from the exam will be scientific facts, measurements, and a diagnosis.
How Do I know If My Older Child Needs an Exam?
Not all children are able to make it in for their first exam until they start to have problems at school. In many cases, the school nurse will do an annual screening where a child has to read an eye chart in the office. This is not an eye exam and only catches problems well after they should have been treated. Regardless, there are some signs to keep an eye out for.
Children who are having eye problems at a grade school age will show signs of:
Lower than expected reading comprehension
Turning their head to one side to favor the right or left eye when focusing
Short attention span
Avoidance of reading
Constantly losing their place while reading
Vision Correction for Children
There is a silver lining in the event that your child does in fact need correction to see better. We are in a technological age where the options to give sight back to a child are better than ever.There are eyeglass lenses specially designed for classroom use called Eyezen lenses. These lenses absorb harmful blue light from computers and tablets. These lenses also give a “boost” at the bottom of the lens to be used for when a child looks down at their desk to takes notes from the teacher.Children’s frames are built with better materials for comfort, style, and durability. Many children at very young ages also wear contact lenses that are FDA approved for children’s use, and in some cases can help to slow the regression of their eye sight.You owe it to your child to stay diligent in all aspects of their health and well-being. We are only given one pair of eyes, and the gift of sight is precious. Contact The Eye Doctors or book online to have your child examined soon.