Pediatric Eye Exams

pediatric eye exam

Eye Exams for Children are crucial to their development and eye health. It is noted that 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and approximately 25 percent of school age children have some type of vision problem, much of which goes unidentified due to lack of regular eye exams. Identifying problems within a child’s vision is important because children can respond better to treatment when problems are diagnosed early. 

With so much going on in your child’s life it can be difficult to keep up, but it’s important to make sure they can see the world in front of them as clearly as possible. Children should have their first eye exam around the age of six months. If the first eye exam shows their eyes are healthy, follow up with another appointment between the ages of 2 and 3 years.

Although many schools offer vision testing, they are not comprehensive eye exams and the results can be very inaccurate. If you notice your child is having trouble with their vision, schedule an appointment with iCare Family Vision today and we can help address the issue and get your child seeing clearly again. As with most conditions, early detection can make the solution much easier to treat than allowing the problem develop into something worse.

How to Tell If Your Child Might Need Glasses

Since parents aren’t able to see through their children’s eyes, it’s difficult to know when they might be experiencing trouble with their vision. It’s also not something younger children are usually able to reveal on their own. Taking them in for an annual eye exam can help catch problems, but vision can change quickly. This leaves plenty of time in between appointments for children to be suffering from blurry vision without their parents ever knowing. That’s why it is so important for parents to watch for the following signs, indicating their children may be in need of glasses:

Squinting

When vision is impaired, one of the most common reactions is to try squinting to compensate. Squinting temporarily improves blurred vision and is a tell-tale sign of not being able to see up close or far away. 

Frequent Headaches 

When children are unable to see correctly, it puts a strain on their eyes, which often results in headaches. Frequent complaints of headaches in the eyebrow and frontal areas of the head could be because of poor vision. 

Bumping into Things

Some children are accident-prone, however, if they are constantly bumping into walls and furniture or tripping over items, there could actually be something going on with their eyesight. Poor vision is often mistaken for clumsiness in children.

Sitting Unusually Close to the TV or Computer

Children don’t typically pay attention to how close they are to the television or computer screen whether they have a vision problem or not, but if you have to ask them repeatedly to back up and they protest about not being able to see, it could be a hint of nearsightedness.

Covering One Eye

Oftentimes, the vision in one eye is stronger than the other, and a child will try to utilize the strength of that eye by covering up the weak one. This is especially critical to look out for, as it can lead to the development of a lazy eye.

Trouble Reading

If your child does well in school overall but seems to have trouble when it comes to reading, it could simply mean they’re not able to see the words clearly. Observe to see if they are skipping over lines or using their finger to keep their place.

If you begin to notice any of these clues in your child, it’s vital that you take them in to see an eye doctor right away.

General Tips for Pediatric Eye Exams

When scheduling pediatric eye exams, the optimal appointment time is when the child will be alert and happy. While specific types of pediatric eye exams will depend on the child’s age, an exam will usually include a case/medical history, vision testing, eye alignment testing, and general eye health evaluation. If it is determined that the child needs vision correction, a prescription for eyewear will be provided. During the initial history, you should inform your doctor about any family history of eye problems.

Even if eye problems do not run in the family and your child hasn’t displayed any of the symptoms above, they should visit the optometrist every year after the age of 3 to ensure their eyes are in good health. At iCare Family Vision, we can address any questions you have regarding your child’s first visit to the eye doctor before the appointment so they know exactly what to expect.