It may sound too early, but children as young as a year old should start having annual eye exams. In today’s post, your local eye care specialists at Vienna Eyecare Center discuss why it’s important for children to have their eyes checked at an early age.
Early Detection of Vision Problems
Refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism are some of the most common vision problems that can be detected at an early age. While these vision problems can’t be prevented and, currently, there is no known cure, early tests can help you and your eye doctor create a long-term corrective plan. Noninvasive methods like orthokeratology, which involves the use of special types of contact lenses that gradually reshape the cornea, can help children who are old enough to wear standard contacts.
Support for Academic Performance and Learning
Poor vision can be detrimental for school-age children. In classroom learning, they may struggle to read what’s on the board, a book or a computer screen. In addition to a greater difficulty in keeping up with lessons, the child may also suffer from the effects of eye strain. Annual eye exams and sticking to the corrective plan prescribed by your optometrist can help make learning easy and enjoyable for your child.
Better Quality of Life
Clear vision can improve your child’s ability to perform day-to-day activities — playing, social interactions, even seemingly mundane things like getting dressed or eating a snack. As children grow, they may find wearing eyeglasses cumbersome or awkward, and corrective treatments can help make them more comfortable and be more confident.
What Happens During a Child’s Eye Exam?
Your eye doctor will perform a few different tests, depending on the child’s age. For infants, the tests focus on general eye health. Among the tests are: checking how your baby’s pupil responds to changes in light, how the eyes can fixate on a moving object, and whether both eyes are coordinated as they move.
A preschool child will have a more involved set of tests, some of which are similar to adult tests, including reading letters or shapes off a chart from various distances, and looking at a book of test patterns to determine depth perception. Color vision tests that help determine color-blindness are done by viewing color plates with patterns and asking them to identify numbers. Eye exams for school age children involve many of the previous tests. Additionally, the eye doctor will ask questions about your child’s daily activities to diagnose unseen vision problems.
Trust Vienna Eyecare Center for your family’s eye care needs. Give us a call at (703) 938-7633, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Fairfax, VA, and the surrounding communities.