80% of what your child learns comes from what they see around them. This makes clear vision essential to their development. Regular eye exams play a key role in keeping your child’s vision healthy.
Children may not realize that they have a vision problem. They may think that the way they see the world is normal. This makes it even more important to take them for regular eye exams.
How often should your child have an eye exam?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends that children have a vision screening when they are newborns, 6–12 months, 12–36 months, and 3–5 years, followed by eye examinations every 1–2 years from age 5*1.
However, vision screenings, which are often carried out by a pediatrician, are not as comprehensive as eye exams carried out by an eye doctor. According to the AOA, vision screenings may miss sight problems in up to 60% of children*2. The AOA, therefore, recommends all preschool children should also have an eye examination.
The earlier a vision problem is detected, the sooner your child can get the treatment they need to see clearly.
Is a children’s eye examination different to an adult’s?
Eye examinations for children and adults both check vision and eye health. However, some eye conditions are more common in children than in adults, and vice versa. For a children’s eye exam, we therefore pay special attention to problems that are more common in children, such as squint, lazy eye, and nearsightedness.
We also adapt eye exams in Brentwood for children so they are easier for them to understand e.g. by using picture charts instead of letter charts. We understand that some children may find visiting the eye doctor intimidating, so we always do our best to put them at ease and give them the extra time they need to feel more comfortable.
Signs your child has vision problems
Warning signs to look out for in your child include:
- avoiding reading, writing or drawing
- complaining about headaches often
- rubbing their eyes or blinking a lot
- squinting when reading or watching TV
- difficulty catching a ball
- poor progress at school
- behavior or concentration problems at school
- one eye turning inwards, outwards, up, or down, independently of the other eye.
Vision correction for children
We stock a wide range of glasses specially designed for children. Many have soft nose pads for extra comfort and sprung hinges to withstand wear and tear.
We also supply contact lenses for children and can teach them how to put them in, take them out, and look after them.
To make sure your child gets the most out of school and play, schedule a children’s eye examination with us today.
*1 American Academy of Ophthalmology
*2 American Optometric Association