Eye Exams are an important part of your child’s overall health, but can often be neglected. Eye exams for children are as important as all other basic pediatric health appointments (such as medical and dental exams). This blog will review the basics of and frequently asked questions surrounding eye exams for children. It is intended to
help you and your child feel more confident and prepared for your next vision appointment!
Frequently Asked Questions related to Eye Exams for Children:
Why are eye exams important?
Healthy eye sight at any age is important. With children, it is important to evaluate overall eye health and get ahead of the game to detect and treat vision issues as early as possible. Sometimes, it is even possible prevent poor eyesight before it starts. Additionally, when a vision issue is detected, prompt treatment is ideal.
A child’s eyesight is still developing until the age of seven; if a problem is detected before that age, it may be easier to treat and may be possible prevent future vision problems. Plus, when a child hits school age, good eyesight is imperative for learning.
If they don’t complain about their vision, why should I be worried?
You shouldn’t be worried! Don’t worry parents! But as mentioned throughout this blog, eye exams for children are extremely important for their overall vision health.
Did you know, one in four elementary school age children have an undetected vision problem? Good eyesight is imperative for quality learning.
An annual eye exam for school age children can help to ensure your child is able to receive the vision correction he or she may need to learn.
When should my child see an eye doctor?
The American Optometric Association (“AOA”) recommends infants have an initial
comprehensive eye exam around 6 months of age. After that initial infant exam, the AOA recommends children have a second exam near the age of 3 years old and then again just before first grade (typically around ages 5-6).
After the age of 7, we recommend an annual exam. Fashion Eye Center sees children ages 5+. Prior to that age, we recommend children (younger than age 5) see a pediatric eye doctor specialist. If born with poor vision, your child might not even realize that s/he has a vision issue. There may be issues that do not have obvious or noticeable symptoms. Additionally, a young child may be unable to communicate problems s/he is experiencing. Even if no problem is evident, an initial eye exam can serve as a baseline for vision health. The pediatric eye doctor may be able to early spot vision issues and concerns and act accordingly.
What are some ways I can protect my child’s eyes?
There are many preventative measures one can take to protect a child’s eyes. Starting good habits when young can lead to healthier eyes in the long run. Try these tips:
- Avoid screens for long periods of time
- Don’t sit too close to the television or computer screen
- Wear sunglasses when in the sun to protect from UV rays (Fashion Eye has a fun large selection of great sunglass options for both kids and adults.)
- Focus on a healthy diet
- Wear protective glasses for sports
What’s the difference between vision screening and an eye exam?
School vision screenings and eye exams for children are not the same thing! While vision screenings can be helpful, comprehensive eye exams, are, well, much more comprehensive and important for vision health. School vision screening should not be used to replace an eye exam as they will not be able to diagnose many things (such as various vision problems and even eye diseases) that a comprehensive exam with a trusted optometrist may detect.
School Vision Screenings Include:
- Basic tests to ensure eyes work together
- Visual acuity
Comprehensive Eye Exams Cover:
- Comprehensive tests to ensure eyes work together
- Comprehensive eye health
- Assess the need for corrective vision treatment and prescription eye wear
- Chronic diseases
- Color vision
- Visual acuity
Fashion Eye Center is one of Tucson’s most trusted family optometrist and optical practices. If you’re looking for a friendly spot for you and your child’s next eye exam, then you’re in the right place! Stop into one of our two convenient Tucson locations or call to make an appointment today!