When to Start Pediatric Eye Exams

Vision problems commonly affect children. However, most vision problems do not show signs and symptoms that are obvious. The only sure way to know about your child’s vision development and eye health is through routine comprehensive eye examinations.


Ensure a qualified and experienced ophthalmologist or optometrist conduct the eye exam. Doing so helps ensure you get optimum results to help your child grow with proper visual development. It is essential to know the appropriate time to take your child for the first pediatric eye exam.




Importance of Eye Health for Children



Pediatric eye examinations are crucial to ensure that your child has normal vision development. The exams check for eye problems that may affect academic performance. A significant part of what children learn before they turn 13 happens visually. Thus, having a good vision is necessary for optimal development and learning. 


Children have an increasing number of eye problems. Most of their school learning today happens through electronic devices and computers. Thus, it is essential to take them for eye exams.


Children can develop eye problems from infancy. Some are born with strabismus and eye alignment problems that cause partial visual development, such as a lazy eye or amblyopia. If your doctor fails to detect and treat it early, your child may have a permanent visual disability.


Some infants and toddlers also develop refractive errors such as astigmatism and myopia. Such eye problems can cause symptoms such as headaches and eyestrain. If left undiagnosed and untreated, vision problems lead to an increased risk of learning difficulties.




When Should Your Child Start Pediatric Eye Exams?



According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their first pediatric eye examination at six months. The eye examination may not be extensive, but the doctor will conduct tests to ensure the eyes are healthy. They will check to make sure nothing can hinder the development of sight for the child at a young age.




How Often Should Children Go for Eye Exams?



Children diagnosed with eye problems ought to go for annual eye exams. Your eye doctor may also recommend frequent eye checkups for children with a higher risk of getting eye problems.


According to the American Optometric Association, children should go for eye exams in a particular order. They should do it at the age of three, before their first grade or kindergarten (age five to six), and every one to two years.




How to Prepare Your Child



Sit down with your child if they are old enough and let them know what they should expect during their first eye examination. Make them aware that the doctor will ask them to look at some objects and identify them. Prepare them by letting them know they may have eye drops put in their eyes and assure them it will be painless. 


It is essential to understand what to expect and explain to your child how everything works as you reassure them everything will be fine.




Pediatric Eye Care Begins Early



Early pediatric eye exams are beneficial for the eye health of your child. If they are nervous about their first appointment, assuring them can help. Let them know what happens and the importance of keeping their eyes in good health. Ensure by the time your child turns six months they get their eyes checked 




For more on starting pediatric eye exams, visit Westchester Eye Care Center at our office in Los Angeles, California. You can also call (310) 670-1888 to book an appointment today.

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