Early and regular eye examinations are important to ensure that children have normal, healthy eyes and clear, focused vision. Vision screenings (like those at school or at the pediatrician's office) can miss many common visual disorders, which can lead to problems in learning and development. Since children often don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, they don’t know to ask for help. Regular, comprehensive eye exams are therefore your best tool to detect these problems early and accurately, and provide your child with the best start possible.
Infant Eye Exams
During the first few years of life, babies must learn to focus their eyes and move them together as a team which lays the foundation for many important developmental milestones. Therefore, undetected vision problems can have a significant impact on infant and childhood development. Because of this, The American Optometric Association recommends that children receive their first eye exam between 6 and 12 months of age. Here at Eye Center, Inc., Dr. Madison Easterling is an InfantSee provider, allowing her to provide a comprehensive eye assessment of infants between the ages of 6 and 12 months free of charge. At this exam, your baby will be tested for excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, as well as abnormal eye movements or eye turns, and any other eye health concerns.
Eye Exams for Children and Teenagers
Children with undetected vision problems often struggle unnecessarily academically, athletically, and personally. If your child is struggling in school, it may be due to an underlying visual issue that can be solved when diagnosed. In fact, according to the American Optometric Association, 25% of school aged children have eye or vision problems. Warning signs that your child may be having an eye problem include: squinting, frequent eye rubbing, excessive blinking, headaches, sitting too close to the television, avoiding near activities, dislike of reading, poor reading comprehension, etc.
Eye Center, Inc. recommends that all children get a comprehensive eye exam before entering school, so that they are well-equipped to succeed academically. At that visit, your Eye Center doctor will determine the follow up schedule most appropriate for your child (generally every year if they wear glasses or contacts, or every two years if they do not).