Regular pediatric eye exams are an important part of your child’s health. This critical component of care is performed by a skilled optometrist or ophthalmologist. While your family doctor or pediatrician may perform a vision screening, this should never substitute a full eye exam. A complete exam can only be completed in an eye doctor’s office because they have the training and tools to ensure that your child is receiving the best care possible.
As we all know, vision can impact various areas of our life. Pediatric eye exams ensure that your child’s vision is where it should be and that any limitations are addressed. Poor vision can be a source of academic problems, poor athletic performance, headaches, and even self-esteem issues. During the exam, the doctor will evaluate:
Ability to see at various distances
Ensure proper eye movement
Evaluate ability to focus eyes
Determine if the child has proper eye teaming skills
Starting your child’s eye exam process is such a critical part of their development. Their initial exam should occur when they are six months of age. While this may seem incredibly young, some children are born with eyesight issues that are not detected right away, and this could provide parents insight into their child’s vision that they previously knew nothing about.
After that first exam, the child should have another comprehensive screening when they are three years old and again when they reach five years old. If there is no need for corrective lenses, the children may go every two years before having another exam. However, if the child has prescription glasses, then they should have an exam annually, or as recommended by their doctor.
To make this process go as smoothly as possible, it’s important for parents to provide ample information during the initial exam. Make sure to tell your doctor if your child experiences any of the following symptoms:
Poor eye tracking
Excessive eye rubbing
Signs of delayed development
Inability to maintain eye contact
If your child is older, the doctor will need to know about any previous failed screenings and information about any current treatment plans that may already be in place.
Oftentimes, parents are curious about how a baby can be tested for vision problems. The process is actually fairly simple. The doctor will perform the following series of tests:
Preferential testing: The doctor will hold up a blank card with lines on it to attract the baby’s attention. If the child successfully gazes at the lines, then this indicates proper preferential vision.
Light response: The doctor will use a small light to test if the pupils go from large to small with the presence of light.
“Fixate and follow”: Once a child is three months old, they should be able to fixate their eyes on an object and follow it with their eyes as it moves.
A child’s vision is an incredibly important part of their overall health and wellbeing. It’s important to make sure that your child sees properly so that they can continue to develop proper skills, perform well in school, and receive proper care for various eye conditions.
Our staff would be happy to answer your questions and provide additional information about what to expect when you visit our office. Please contact Dr. Romeu Eye Associates in West New York, NJ to schedule your child’s eye exam today to get them on the right road toward proper eye care. We look forward to working with you (201) 868-3603!
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