The American Optometric Association and the American Medical Association now recommend that children begin their first eye examination by age 9 months. It is important that the children see their pediatrician and eye doctors too. The pediatrician will look at the general health of the eyes but will not look at muscle imbalance and prescription problems.
Infants and toddlers will not be able to tell the parents that they cannot see well if they do not truly know what good vision “should be.” The vision that they are born with is “normal” to them. That is why it is important to have your children’s eyes checked to ensure that the eyes develop properly. Children with undiagnosed eye disorders are more likely to have to repeat a grade level in school, have behavior problems, be diagnosed with ADD, and perform below their intellectual abilities.
It is important to detect any visual disorders early so there will not be any permanent developmental vision problems resulted from undetected eye problems. Children should have the chance to learn at their full capacity.
Most babies and toddlers tend to have farsighted vision, meaning their vision at a distance is better than near vision. If this farsightedness continues in school, the child’s ability to learn will become more difficult because the work in front of them may be in and out of focus or their eyes may fatigue quicker than the normal level. Children having difficulty seeing the chalkboard (nearsightedness) are often detected sooner by the teacher or parent because the vision symptoms are more obvious.
There are many options for vision correction for children. If the prescription is minor, generally the child is monitored yearly to ensure the vision does not change too much to cause vision problems. However, if the prescription is outside the normal standard, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses will be prescribed to ensure that the eyes will develop properly.
Remember to make an appointment for all of your children. Call our office today so that you can have a peace of mind that your children can excel to their full potential without visual barriers.