As a parent, you want to get your child off to a good start in life and eyesight forms such an important part of growth and development. However, when is the right time to start having your child’s eyes checked?
It’s essential not to postpone eye exams for young infants and children because some early eye problems can affect vision for life. Discovering a potential problem earlier can keep a minor problem from becoming something significant, which may become harder to treat later.
Eye exams are not only a way to know if your child is seeing clearly or requires visual correction, but also just like regular checks up with a pediatrician, eye examinations are about preventive care.
At what age should my child have their eyes examined?
A comprehensive eye examination should take place if possible, by the age of one, and should be repeated before pre-school in children without any obvious eye problems. Pediatricians do perform limited eye examinations right after birth and in the first few years of life.
Eye examinations become much more important in children who:
Sometimes there may be no apparent symptoms. However, your child may still have a problem with his/her vision. Undiagnosed conditions or abnormalities can lead to vision loss. However, it’s possible to reverse some problems if detected early. A classic example is a lazy eye. Children with this condition have one eye that is weaker than the other. and generally respond well to early treatment.
This may include an eye patch; eye drops or spectacles. Another example is crossed eyes, which involves one or both eyes turning inward or outward. This can require special eyewear or an eye patch.
How do you know if there is a problem ?
Following these tips will help you protect your child’s vision and promote healthy eyesight for life.
What things can you typically expect during the eye exam?
It is important to remember that going for your first eye exam can be considered very daunting, especially a child. Talking to your child beforehand about the examination and how it mostly involves looking at a screen and different things and can actually be quite fun goes a long way to putting a child's mind at ease. This will make their first experience a positive one and assist the practitioner establish a good vision care relationship and provide you with accurate feedback.
A comprehensive eye examination generally involves, and is not limited to the following:
Images taken from Spectrum Eyecare software