When it comes to taking care of your eyes, or any other part of your health for that matter, there are a lot of rules and recommendations. However, one golden rule stands out above the rest in the medical field: prevention through early detection. Often times a completely treatable problem becomes severely damaging simply because it wasn’t caught before it created serious harm (glaucoma is notorious for this).
Early detection means scheduling yearly exams, and the sooner you start tracking your eye development and changes, the better. So why not begin scheduling eye exams for your children? It’s crucial for the doctor to determine a child’s visual acuity early on, as this can affect the child’s learning and comprehension later. This is why pediatric eye exams are so important.
How Pediatric Tests are Done
Doctors will often test a newborn’s ability to follow movement with their eyes, as well as how easily their pupils dilate. When the child is a little bit older, they will take more detailed tests to get a better grasp on the way that they see. Eye charts, physical examinations such as retinoscopy, and tests that use special equipment to determine whether or not the eyes work together are a few of the most common pediatric eye testing methods.
Often children are tested for refractive errors early on, which means nearsightedness (also called myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. It’s important to keep in mind that prescriptions can change drastically until about 25 years of age, so there’s no need to panic if your child has one of these afflictions. If the child needs it, getting corrective lenses early on will help them focus better, learn faster, and be more confident.
Other conditions that can be treated (and are often easier to treat) early in a child’s development are:
- Lazy eye. This occurs when one eye is significantly stronger than the other, creating an imbalance. The child will need to wear an eye patch over the strong eye until the weaker one has caught up and is in relative balance with the dominant eye.
- Strabismus. Classically known as crossed eyes, or simply misaligned eyes, can be treated with non-surgical vision therapy, but is mostly effective in children.
- Eye infections. Infections can spread and cause serious damage if left unchecked. Catching one early makes the problem very easy to deal with, but waiting too long could result in permanent vision loss.
Your Child Should See Life Clearly
Yearly exams are important for everyone, but getting your child started now can make the world of difference. Setting up an appointment is easy. We’re always just a few clicks away!