Regular eye exams are important for children since their eyes can change significantly in as little as a year as the muscles and tissue develop. Good eyesight is critical for a child’s life and achievements since success in school is closely tied to eye health. School demands intense visual involvement, including reading, writing, using computers, and blackboard/smartboard work. Even physical activities and sports require strong vision. If their eyes aren’t up to the task, a child may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, have problems in school, or have difficulty playing their favorite games which may affect their overall quality of life.
According to research, a child should have an initial eye screening between 6 and 12 months of age. Oftentimes, this is done during the visit with the pediatrician. Comprehensive eye exams by an eye doctor at an early age can help rule out congenital and juvenile ocular conditions that can affect the ability of the eyes and vision to develop properly. Other tests are also performed to check for misaligned eyes (strabismus), “lazy eye” (amblyopia), refractive errors (astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia), and any other focusing problems. Vision is such a huge factor in learning, so our doctors highly recommend children have comprehensive eye exams prior to entering kindergarten and annually thereafter.
There are some signs that can indicate your child may have a vision problem. For example, squinting, holding reading material very close to the face, or complaining that things appear blurry. There can be less obvious signs that may indicate vision problems like having a short attention span, quickly losing interest in games, projects, or activities that require using their eyes for an extended period of time, or losing their place when reading. As well as avoiding reading, drawing, playing games, or doing other projects that require focusing up close. Another sign is that a child may turn his or her head to the side when looking at something in front of them. This may be a sign of a refractive error, including astigmatism, so turning their head helps the child to see better.
That’s why it is so important for kids to have regular eye exams with an optometrist. Determining and treating your child’s vision problem early can help your child learn and live their best. Schedule your child’s eye exam now.
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