Over half of children with vision problems are not detected during their pediatric screening. Ocular health issues, such as weak eye muscles, vision difficulties and tumors can be detected in their earliest stages during a comprehensive eye exam.
My child sees fine, why do they need to have an eye exam?
There is so much more to ocular health than just vision. A tumor called Retinoblastoma can grow undetected in your child’s eyes; the scary reality is, this tumor left untreated will lead to death. Early detection and treatment is paramount. When it comes to vision, children are very adaptive and can learn to work around their vision issues, leading parents to believe they see normally. In fact many children with poor performance in school have vision problems. During developmental stages, each eye must see clearly and eye muscles must function properly together to ensure the brain and eyes to develop fully. Undetected ocular issues can lead to much larger issues like amblyopia (lazy eye) or learning disabilities down the road.
How do you perform an eye exam on my toddler or infant?
With young children and infants we will perform a special test called Retinoscopy to determine if a prescription for glasses is necessary. This test measures the light reflection inside the eyes to evaluate refractive error and prescription. The health of both the retina and other ocular structures will be evaluated with dilation and a test called binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy. Testing on young children is always performed ‘objectively’ meaning we do not depend on their responses to determine results.
At what age should my child have an eye exam?
Even if no eye or vision problems are apparent, baby’s first eye assessment should be around 1 year old as recommended by the American Optometric Association. All aspects of ocular health will be evaluated and although not common, it is important to identify and treat any problems in the earliest years. Vision development and eye health problems are far easier to correct if treatment begins early. In fact, twenty-five percent of school-aged children have vision problems that affect reading and learning and are easily preventable if identified.