How Important Are Pediatric Eye Exams?

As a parent, you need to determine early if your little one has a chance of developing some vision problems. To do so, you need to start taking your child for pediatric eye exams early. Studies suggest that an alarmingly high percentage of preschoolers and school-aged kids have vision problems. Thus, it is vital to detect early signs of vision problems to prevent permanent vision loss.

What Is a Pediatric Eye Exam?

A pediatric eye exam is an expert assessment of a child’s vision and eye health performed by an eye doctor. A brief vision and eye screening by a family practice physician or pediatrician is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.

A pediatric ophthalmologist or pediatric optometrist performs a comprehensive eye exam. Only a qualified eye doctor has the clinical tools and advanced training required to perform thorough vision and eye examination.

Benefits of Pediatric Eye Exams

A baby does not come into the world with perfect vision. As the brain develops over time, a child learns to see. As kids grow, pathways between their eyes and brain continue to develop. If something happens to prevent this process from going smoothly, one or both eyes will fail to develop properly. 

Vision problems can hinder the stimulation of the pathways to the brain. This can prevent your child from ever learning to see properly. For example, a condition such as a lazy eye can lead to various problems, such as poor depth perception and other vision problems. 

If not addressed early, this problem can be irreversible later in life. Hence, one should diagnose vision and eye disorders in kids and start treatment as early as possible. Your child’s vision and eye health play a critical role in their ability to socialize and learn. 

The longer eye and vision conditions go unnoticed, the harder it will be for the brain to accommodate the vision/eye impairment. As a result, many kids cannot describe their vision problems or handicaps clearly.

Kids should get regular pediatric eye exams whether they have any signs or symptoms of vision or eye problems. Your child may seem problem-free now. However, vision and/or eye problems can develop with age. 

Visual Skills Children Need

Pediatric eye exams can help you determine whether your child has a vision problem that can interfere with learning. Also, some vision disorders can potentially endanger your child’s safety. Some of the visual skills kids need to succeed academically and socially include:

  • Accurate eye movement.

  • Good visual acuity at all distances.

  • Comfortable and accurate eye teaming skills.


When Children Should Have Their First Eye Exam

The American Optometric Association states that if children are six months old, they should have their first pediatric eye exam. Additional eye exams should happen when they are three years old and just before they join first grade.

Eye Exams for School-aged Kids

If you have a school-aged child, you should schedule eye exams for them every two years if they do not have vision problems. But if they require contact lenses or eyeglasses, annual eye exams are necessary. Your pediatric eye doctor may also recommend additional eye exams for kids with serious vision disorders. 

To learn more about pediatric eye exams, visit Professional Eye Care at Westar at our office in Westerville, Ohio. You can call (614) 686-2300 today to schedule an appointment.

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