Pediatric Eye Exams
Your child has a lot to learn about the world, and his eyes are a crucial tool in enabling him to do that. From his first weeks on earth when shapes and colors are beginning to come into focus for the very first time, to go to school, where approximately 80% of learning is presented visually, being able to see properly is essential for your kid’s development.
Unfortunately, the very nature of children can make it difficult for us to determine if there are problems with our child’s eyesight. After all, if they have had blurred vision for a while, they may not know any different and realize that in fact, with help, they could see so much better. Similarly, very young children may not have the communication skills to be able to tell us that their eyesight is adversely affected and that they are struggling to see the things around them. As a result, as responsible parents, it is down to us to try and spot the signs that might indicate that our child is experiencing vision problems and arrange to get him seen by an experienced and patient pediatric eye doctor.
Exactly how your child’s eyes are assessed during the first 18 years of his life will depend on which life stage he is at and how his vision is affecting him.
Schedule of eye exams for kids
When your child should have his eyes examined will vary depending on his age and his ocular requirements. Generally, you can expect your child to undergo the following:
- Routine newborn general eye health check by a pediatrician in the hospital nursery.
- Any high-risk newborns (such as those born prematurely) and those with a family history of eye problems or obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.
- Your pediatrician or community nurse should routinely monitor your child’s vision by asking you questions and checking how he responds to light, movement, etc.
- Around the age of 3.5yrs, kids should have an eye health screening and visual acuity tests, the latter which measure the sharpness of vision.
- Around the age of 5yrs, kids should have their vision and eye alignment checked by their pediatrician or your general doctor. If there are concerns, you should have him referred to an eye doctor.
- After the age of 5, your child will benefit from regular routine screenings of his eye health and vision. Since he will be starting school, his teacher may notice if he is struggling to see clearly through how he participates in class and performs in his work.
- If your child is diagnosed with a visual problem such as near or far-sightedness and relies on prescription eyewear to enable them to see clearly, annual check-ups are advised to check that the current lens prescription is still effective.
The importance of clear vision at school
Unsurprisingly, having clear vision at school is extremely important. You likely already know that poor eyesight could cause your kid’s academic progress to falter since he cannot read what he is learning. In the earliest stages of development, this can be crucial and delays at this stage can take years to correct. However, poor eyesight can also cause behavioral problems at school. This is normally borne out of frustration from their situation, and kids with poor vision may be labeled as ‘naughty’ when in fact, they lack the concentration needed to participate fully in the work due to not being able to see clearly.
The sooner that eye conditions are identified and treated, the better the outcome will be for your child. When you choose an experienced and patient pediatric eye doctor, you can be certain that your kid’s vision is in safe hands.
If you would like more information on kids eye exams or how to support your child’s eye health as he grows, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and professional team.