A pediatric eye exam is a thorough assessment of your child’s eye health and visual performance done by an optometrist (OD) or ophthalmologist (Eye MD).
The school screening or brief eye check your child’s doctor performs is NOT the same, and is NOT a substitute for, a Comprehensive Eye Exam such as that performed at Goodrich Optical.
A failed Screening is designed to alert a parent that the possibility exists for a visual problem. But passing a screening does not meet a problem does not exist.
A Comprehensive Eye Exam is needed for ALL children, regardless of their passing a screening.
Why children’s eye exams are important
Blurry vision is an interference to your child’s ability to learn. With 80% of a child’s learning accomplished visually. A regular eye exam is essential to detecting and correcting any vision problems.
Early childhood eye exams are very important to ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and performing as they should. And, to ensure the visual skills required for optimal learning. Including:
Peak visual acuity at all distances
Proper binocular eye function
Accurate eye movement skills
Appropriate focusing ability at all distances
When to have your child’s eyes examined
Kids should have their first comprehensive eye exam at about 6 months of age. Then again at about 3 years of age and additionally, just before they start school — at about 5 or 6 years of age.
Any child who wears glasses or contact lenses should be examined annually, or more often if recommended by their eye doctor. School-aged children should have an eye exam at least once a year if no vision correction is required.
The specifics of your child’s eye exams are dependent upon on your child’s age, general health, eye health and visual need, but generally include a health history, vision testing, eye alignment and function testing, an eye health evaluation, and if needed, a prescription for vision correction.
Be sure to tell the doctor if you notice your child doing any of the following:
Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding their book too close
Losing their place while reading or using a finger to guide their eyes while reading
Squinting or tilting their head to see better
Grades begin slipping
Frequent complaints of headaches or tired eyes
Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
Loses interest in near activities like reading or crafts; or distance activities that require noticing details
Avoid using their computer or tablet because it “hurts their eyes”
Sensitivity to light and/or has excessive tearing
Frequently rubbing their eyes
Also, be sure to mention a failed vision screening from school or their doctor or pediatrician.
A recent study at Mayo Clinic found that children with vision problems were far more likely to be mis-diagnosed with a learning disability or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children with normal eye alignment.
If you notice your child:
Reverses letters while reading or writing
Struggles with reading, writing, or math
Consistently mistakes left and right
Has difficulty expressing themselves verbally or,
Frequently behaves inappropriately or anti-socially in public situations
Ruling out a visual problem should be the first step in helping to identify the issue.
Remember, vision testing at an early age is vital to ensure your child has the visual skills they need to perform well in school. A child who is unable to clearly see the print in their books or on their tablet, computer, or a blackboard can become easily frustrated, often leading to poor academic performance.
Don’t let poor vision keep your child from reaching their peak. Schedule an eye exam with Goodrich Optical today.