Whether they’re reading, writing, or playing a game, your child’s vision is directly related to their success. Children’s eye exams at Pacific Eye are always designed to accommodate your child’s age, development, and ability, with the goal of obtaining accurate results and providing optimal vision care. Pacific Eye has offices in San Luis Obispo, Lompoc, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and Santa Maria, California, as well as Optical Concepts in Santa Maria, and can answer any questions about your child’s vision or eye health. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
It’s natural for children’s vision to change as they grow older, but these changes should be monitored to be sure they don’t represent a problem. Here are a few examples of eye conditions that can develop in children:
Amblyopia, or lazy eye, occurs when vision doesn’t develop properly in one or both eyes. This problem can be corrected at a young age. Without correction, your child can develop lifelong vision problems.
A small degree of farsightedness (hyperopia) is normal in younger children, then it naturally improves in their early teen years. But the extent of a child’s farsightedness could exceed “normal” and necessitate glasses or contact lenses.
Another common refractive error, nearsightedness (myopia) usually begins in childhood. In some children, the problem continues to worsen, especially during growth spurts. It’s essential to identify myopia at an early age because moderate to high cases of myopia increase your child’s risk of serious eye problems.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus recommend the following eye exam schedule:
An eye exam, including a red reflex test, should be performed on your newborn. Your child’s first comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled when visual acuity sharpens between 6-12 months of age.
Visual screening should be done around the age of 3. At that age, many children can participate in their eye exam using a children’s eye chart. However, the doctors at Pacific Eye can use a specialized camera to check your child’s vision. A comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled if problems are detected during screening.
Your child’s vision should be screened again when they enter school or any time you suspect a problem. An exam every two years is recommended for children with healthy vision. Your doctor at Pacific Eye may suggest more frequent visits if your child wears corrective glasses or contact lenses.
It’s important for parents to be aware of the subtle signs of vision problems because young children don’t usually complain about their vision. You may notice that they frequently squint or rub their eyes. Their eyes may look misaligned, as though they cross or turn out. Older children may avoid reading or activities that require close-up focus such as playing games.
Any time you notice signs of a vision problem, call Pacific Eye or schedule an appointment online at one of their six offices in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.