Even though your preschooler’s vision might seem absolutely perfect, it is important to schedule regular eye exams, starting as early as 6 months. The American Optometrist Association, recommends at least two comprehensive eye exams after this, one at the age of 3, and the next at the age of 6, followed by once every two years for school-aged children. In children who have undergone visual correction with contact lenses or eyeglasses, eye exams should be conducted annually.
The importance of eye exams for children can be understood from the fact that 10% of preschoolers, and 25% of school-going children suffer from vision problems. Most of these disorders have a better chance of complete treatment when diagnosed early, since the eye is likely to be more responsive to treatment during early developmental stages. The key aspect that are examined during an eye exam are near vision, distant vision, perception of depth, eye movements, coordination between both eyes, hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision, color vision, and focusing ability.
You should book an appointment for your child’s eye examination at a time of the day when he is usually active and happy. You must inform your eye doctor about any unusual symptoms that you notice in your child, which include eye redness, swelling, discharge, excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, inability to maintain eye contact, rubbing the eyes, excessive blinking, etc. It is also important to mention any other peculiarity that you feel might be significant, such as premature birth, injury to the eye, history of eye disease in the family, etc.
Infant’s eyes can be tested with the help of certain techniques which include testing pupil’s responses in bright and dim light; testing ability to fix glance on an object and follow it during movement; and using tools like striped cards to judge vision with the help of preferential looking, eliminating the need for a vision chart. Amblyopia is one of the most common vision disorders in young children, and can be corrected with the help of patches or spectacles. Strabismus, also known as cross-eye is also a fairly common disorder, and has better chances of being treated if detected early.
Vision tests can be helpful in diagnosing and correcting eye disorders in children, which if left unnoticed, can have a significant impact on the child’s performance at school, as well as in various other daily activities.
We at Killeen Eyecare Center offer a complete eye check up for all age groups. You can visit us at 416, North Gray Street, Killeen, TX 76541, Downtown Killeen or call us at 254- 634- 7805.