infants & Children
Most parents assume that their child's vision is good if he or she passes a school vision screening or a quick test at the pediatrician's office. Even though these tests are helpful, they are not comprehensive and do not test all aspects of visual function that are necessary not only to read clearly, but also efficiently. Many children can actually pass the screening at school but still have undiagnosed astigmatism, far-sightedness or accommodation (focusing) problems that may affect their ability to learn efficiently.
Ideally, all children should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at least by the time they enter kindergarten (usually before age 5). In fact, the American Optometric Association suggests that children should have their first regular eye exam at 6 months. Follow-up exams should occur at age 3 and again just prior to starting school. If a problem is found, more frequent care may be necessary.
Infants should have an eye examination if they have:
- Poor focus on objects after 3 months of age.
- One or both eyes turn in or out
- An eyelid that is droopy.
- A family history of serious eye problems.
- A watery eye with overflow tearing.
Children should have an eye examination if they:
- Have a red eye with or without discharge.
- Squint their eyes to read or see small objects.
- Complain of blurred distance vision.
- Blink their eyes excessively.
- Complain of headaches or double vision.
- Seem sensitive to the sunlight or other bright lights