As a parent, you might wonder whether your kid is experiencing some vision loss. Maybe it’s time to schedule the first eye exam. Scheduling eye exams for your child is very important because roughly 40% of school-aged kids have vision complications. Detecting vision problems for kids, either severe or mild, and correcting them ensure that they enter the classroom able and ready to learn. In fact, early identification of a child's vision problem is critical because it improves the chance of either correcting it or help prevent it from getting worse. Good vision and healthy eyes are important to a kid's development, behavior and performance in school.
The right time for Child’s vision examination
Kids should have their first comprehensive eye exam when they are six months of age. Followed by an exam at three years and at about five to six years of age, when they get to first grade. The American Optometric Association recommends that school aged children to be examined every two years if no vision is corrected. However, kids who need contact lenses or eyeglasses must be examined yearly or according to the recommendation of their doctor.
Scheduling eye exam for kids
Your family physician would be the first medical professional to examine the eyes of your child. If he/ she suspects an eye problem during the physical examination, a referral should be made to an optometrist or ophthalmologist for further evaluation.
Depending on your kid's age and how much they understand about going to an eye examination, it is critical to tell him/her about eye examination at least two or more days before you go. Let your little super star be familiar with the process. Usually, eye exam involves vision testing, an eye health examination, eye problem history, testing for eye alignments, determining whether eyeglasses are necessary or not and consultation with regards to the findings. Choose a time when your child is normally alert and happy when scheduling for his/her eye exam.
Things to remember when scheduling eye exams for kids
Make sure you inform the eye doctor whether your kid had a history of prematurity, engages in regular eye rubbing, has late motor development, fails to maintain eye contact, blinks terribly, cannot maintain a gaze while looking at objects, had pre-school vision screening or has poor tracking skills.
Besides, let the eye doctor know about any previous ocular diagnosis and treatment for your kid. Again, make sure the doctor is informed about any eye problem history in your family which required vision correction.
Regular eye check-ups help prevent kids' vision loss by identifying eye conditions early. Remember, early intervention can lead to better prognosis and requires less aggressive treatment.