It’s crucial for kids to have regular eye exams. Five to 10% of pre-schoolers and 25% of school-aged kids in Santa Fe have vision issues, according to experts. Recognizing a childhood vision trouble early is important due to the fact that, if left neglected, some children’s vision problems can create irreversible eyesight related challenges.
Booking Your Child’s Eye Doctor’s Appointment
Your family physician or pediatrician is likely to be the first one to examine your son’s or daughter’s eyes. If visual difficulties are picked up during a regular physical, the doctor might refer your son or daughter to an ophthalmologist or optometrist for further examination. Optometrists have special devices and training to aid them in identifying and potential eyesight issues.
The details of just how eye exams are carried out depend upon the age of the child, however it will normally include taking a medical history, eyesight testing, assessment of visual acuity and whether the child needs corrective lenses or eye glasses, eye alignment screening, an eye health exam and a discussion with you about what the results. When planning an eye exam, pick a time when your child tends to be calm and happy.
After scheduling your appointment, the office may mail you a case history form, or you might be provided one when you check in at the time of the appointment. This form will often request information about your child’s birth history (also called perinatal history), like birth weight and full-term or prematurity. Your eye care professional may ask whether there were complications during pregnancy or delivery. There will be questions about your child’s general medical history, consisting of existing medications and past or present allergic sensitivities.
Let your eye doctor know if your child was born premature or has motor development delays, or if you notice excessive eye rubbing, blinking, trouble with eye contact, inability to gaze (fixation), or poor eye tracking. Inform the optometrist or ophthalmologist about poor results during past vision tests, too.
Any previous eye diseases or conditions that were diagnosed, and eye treatments including surgeries or even wearing glasses or contacts, should also be brought up. Your optometrist will also want to know if other people in your family require vision correction, like eyeglasses for nearsightedness or farsightedness, and if there is a family history of strabismus, amblyopia, also called “lazy eye”, or other eye health issues.
When should your child’s eyes be checked?
Infants are supposed to have their initial comprehensive eye exam at 6 months old, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends. After that, they should be examined again at 3 years old, and again just prior to starting kindergarten or first grade at around age 5 or 6.
For school-aged children, the AOA advises an eye exam every 2 years if no eyesight correction is needed. Kids who need glasses or contacts need to be examined annually or as often as advised by their optometrist.
Early eye exams likewise are very important since young students require the these eyesight capabilities for successful learning:
- Eye Movement and Tracking
- Distance vision
- Focusing skills
- Eye teaming (binocularity) skills
- Peripheral awareness
- Hand-eye coordination
- Near vision
Some states insist on an eye test for all kids entering public school for the first time, in recognition of the significant role eyesight plays in learning.
Texas State Optical Santa Fe eye doctors specialize in pediatric eye care.
Eye and vision challenges that have an effect on children
In addition to evaluating refractive — astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness — your optometrist will examine the patient’s eyes for any indications of these eye health and eyesight issues which are commonly detected during childhood:
- Amblyopia: Commonly known as “lazy eye,” this is reduced vision in one or both eyes without any kind of underlying eye disease or tissue damage. This can be caused by a large discrepancy in refractive errors between the two eyes, or strabismus. To treat amblyopia, an eye doctor might recommend patching the stronger eye to enhance the weaker eye; or surgery.
- Strabismus: Any misalignment of the eyes, whether side to side or up and down, is called strabismus. Oftentimes, it can be traced to a congenital defect in the positioning or strength of muscular tissues surrounding the eye, responsible for ocular positioning and motion. If neglected, strabismus can lead to amblyopia in weaker eye. Surgical treatment may be needed to manage strabismus, especially if it is severe.
- Eye teaming problems A lot of eye teaming (binocularity) challenges are less glaring than strabismus. Insufficiencies in eye teaming skills can cause challenges with coordination and depth perception.
- Convergence insufficiency: If a child cannot keep the eye comfortably aligned for reading and various other arms’ length activities, he or she may have CI. One of the most common and successful treatment methods is vision therapy, which is like physiotherapy for the eyes.
- Focusing problems: Kids with accommodation problems may have accommodative infacility, where they show signs of difficulty shifting concentration from distance to near and back to distance vision, or they may have accommodative insufficiency, which is difficulty focusing on reading tasks. Vision therapy can offer effective treatment options in these cases.
Infant eye exams
Contrary to popular belief, a baby can usually see the day they’re born, but it does take time for the child’s eyesight to fully develop. In order to examine whether your baby’s eyes are developing properly, your eye doctor may use one or more of these examinations:
- “Fixate and follow” screening identifies your baby’s ability to focus on an object (perhaps a flashlight) and follow its movement. Even by 3 months old, most healthy infants have mastered this skill.
- Pupil response exams assess whether the pupil in the eye constricts and dilates appropriately in response to light.
- Preferential looking tests evaluate gaze by contrasting his or her reaction to cards that are blank versus those that are likely to attract attention like stripes or a face.
Pre-school age eye screening
Kids who cannot yet identify letters or those who are pre-verbal or too shy to respond to a physician can have their eyes checked, nonetheless. Here are some typical eye tests for young children:
- LEA Symbols for young children resemble normal eye charts with letters, but they have easy to identify symbols like apples, circles, squares, and houses, instead.
- Retinoscopy uses a light shone into the eye, which is reflected off the retina (the tissue at the back of the eye that is light-sensitive) back through the pupil. This test allows an eye doctors to objectively diagnose the correct prescription needed for eyeglasses.
- Random Dot Stereopsis examines binocular vision, or how well the eyes work together, by using dot patterns.
Vision and learning
Research indicates that 80 % of academic knowledge is acquired visually. Schedule a full eye examination for your kid before the school year begins, because untreated vision problems set are a disadvantage to students.