Child's Eye Exam
Why Worry About A Child's Eyes?
The visual system in the young child is not fully mature. Equal input from both eyes is required for proper development of the visual centers in the brain. If a growing child’s eye does not provide a clear focused image to the developing brain, the connections from the eye to the brain become weak, and permanent irreversible loss of vision may result.
The eyes also should be used together for normal vision. Eyes turning or crossing can interfere with this normal functioning of the visual system.
Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective, inexpensive treatment. Therfour, all children should have regular eye test at least once a year to ensure the early recognition and management of any visual problems.
Don’t just assume all is well,
Do not wait until they complan.
Children should receive their first eye exam at the age of six months, then again when the child turns three. Subsequent exams should be given before the child starts school, then every two years after that.
In between eye exams, you can take an active role in monitoring your child's vision. For instance, regularly ask your child to describe the way he or she sees objects up close or at a distance (across a room or street). The child may not realize if his or her vision is not clear and sharp.
Signs Of Eye Problems In Children
It is important as a parent you recognize some early warning signs of vision problems in children. Young children often cannot verbalize what is going on with their eyesight. Here are some warning signs your child may have a vision problem:
· Frequent straining to see things.
· Poor eye/hand coordination.
· Problems in school.
· Difficulty keeping eye contact.
· Frequent squinting or tilting of head to see.
· Use of finger or other tool to read.
· Rubs eyes frequently.
· Attempts to brush away blur.
· Has dizziness, headaches, nausea following close work.
· Is inattentive during work requiring near vision (seat work).
· Moves closer to copy and see information presented at a distance such as on a chalkboard.
· Contorts face in attempt to see distant object clearly.
· Thrusts head forward.
· Squints excessively.
· Blinks excessively.
· Holds book too far or too close to face.
· Makes frequent change in distance at which book is held.
· Stops working after brief periods of study.
· Shuts or covers one eye.
· Tilts head to one side.
· Tends to look cross-eyed.
· Tends to lose place on page.
· Confuses words or letters.
· Complains of sensitivity to light (photophobia).
· Red or watery eyes.
Any of these signs may help alert you to possible vision problems
Schedule an appointment with your optometrist if your child
exhibits any of these possible ocular signs.
School Vision Exams Vs. A Visit To The Optometrist
Even though your child may have a normal vision test at school, keep in mind these
vision exams are basic. You should plan to visit a formal optometrist for a
comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years.
A full eye exam will test your child's near and distance vision, eye movement, focusing
ability and peripheral awareness.
Suggested Timeline for Early Childhood Eye Exams
Eye exam frequency
Infants/toddlers (birth to 24 months)
By 6 months of age
Preschoolers (2 to 5 years)
At age 3 and 5
School age (6 to 19 years)
Adult (20 and older)
Every 1 or 2 years
Remember, a school vision or pediatrician’s screening is
not a substitute for a thorough eye examination