Pediatric Eye Exams
Studies over the years have provided a detailed understanding of the stages of vision development in children. Research has shown that 1 in 20 preschool-age youngsters and 1 in 4 school-age children have serious vision problems.
To detect these issues early in a child’s life, a children’s eye exam is essential. Getting proper care will help prevent problems from advancing as the child ages. At our family eye care center in Lawrenceville, we offer children’s eye care services to examine, diagnose, and treat the eye health needs of children of all ages.
When Should Your Child See an Optometrist?
Children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at six months, then again at three years old, and once more before they enter kindergarten. Once a child is in school, they should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years if no vision correction is needed. If a child has been prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses, then they should be examined on an annual basis or as recommended by the optometrist.
Children—and especially young children—are not always able to communicate about problems with their sight, making eye health issues challenging to detect. Problems that go undiagnosed can be progressive and have the potential to negatively impact a child’s life as they grow up. As such, it is important for your child to see an eye doctor regularly for pediatric eye exams.
Signs your child should see an eye doctor for a pediatric eye exam:
- Frequent blinking, squinting, or irregular eye movements
- Frequently turning or tilting their head
- Covering or closing one eye to see better
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Frequently touching their eyes
- Frequent headaches
- Leaning in too close to see something
- Learning difficulties or problems reading
Your child could be experiencing vision problems if they exhibit these behaviors. A pediatric eye exam will help determine the cause and available treatment options.
What Is a Comprehensive Pediatric Eye Exam?
The pediatric eye exams we offer at Lawrenceville Family Eyecare will detect eye defects and vision impairment in your child. We also assess your child’s risk for developing eye conditions later in life. When you visit our vision care center, Dr. Kazem will conduct a pediatric eye exam with your child to better understand their eye health and vision needs. Based on the information gained from that exam, an accurate diagnosis will be made of any abnormalities or vision problems present.
Many parents rely on eye exams conducted at school to inform them about their children’s eye health, but it’s important to note that our exams are far more in-depth and comprehensive than those offered at school or at a pediatrician’s office. Exams conducted by schools and pediatricians screen for potential vision problems, but they cannot diagnose or treat them. A school or pediatrician will most often direct you to an optometrist for a thorough examination if an issue is suspected.
What Are Common Vision Problems in Children?
- Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, in which the child can see objects well up close, but have problems seeing objects in the distance, like a blackboard
- Hyperopia: also known as farsighted, in which the child can see objects well in the distance, such as a blackboard, but have problems seeing objects up close
- Astigmatism: a vision condition that causes fuzzy, blurry vision
- Amblyopia: also known as “lazy eye,” this condition is best treated while the child is still young, and their visual system is in development
- Strabismus: also known as crossed eyes, where a child’s eyes are misaligned
- Convergence insufficiency: an inability to maintain eye alignment when looking at objects
- Focusing problems, poor depth perception, and color blindness
Early diagnosis can prevent future eye health complications and greatly improve the child’s quality of life. We urge parents to be proactive about their child’s eye health and get their child’s eyes checked regularly. To set up your child’s pediatric eye exam at our office in Lawrenceville, contact us today.
Can my child wear contact lenses during sports activities?
Yes, as long as your child is responsible and old enough, contacts are a very good option for sport activities since they don’t fall off your face and give you better side vision.
When should my child's eyes be examined?
It is recommended for children to get their first eye exam at six months old followed by a second exam at age three and then another exam before starting school if there is no obvious poor vision or crossed eyes.
Will sitting too close to the television set hurt my child's eyes?
All electronics are backlit with LED lights that emit blue light that can disrupt your child’s sleep patterns and possibly hurt their eyes.
Is my child likely to inherit my need for glasses?
Yes, having one or two parents with a refractive error or crossed eyes increases the likelihood that the child will inherit these conditions.