Many parents ask when their child should have their eyes examined. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommend that infants should have their first eye exam at 6 months of age. If no issues are noted, then their next exam should be at 3 years and again at 5 or 6 years of age.
It is important to note a child’s visual development is crucial in their first few years of life. Having basic vision skills are important for a child to learn. Some of these skills are:
- Near vision
- Distance vision
- Binocularity (eye teaming)
- Eye movements
- Peripheral vision
- Hand/eye coordination
The earlier detection of any visual deficit, the easier and it is to treat and manage, which in turn can make learning easier for your child.
Many children may not tell you they are having trouble seeing, as they really don’t have a point of reference. Think about it…they may think everyone sees like they do. Or, if they see well out of one eye and not out of the other, they may not notice this since we all usually keep both eyes open. In this situation, a ‘lazy eye’ (amblyopia) can develop. This can be treated if caught early enough. If not, it may never be able to see ‘20/20’.
Those with subjective symptoms may report one or a combination of the following:
- Blurred vision at distance or near
- Tired eyes
- Achy eyes
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Seeing shadows or seeing 2 of everything
In other children, you may notice or observe some behaviors that indicate a vision problem.
- Acting out/defiance
- Doesn’t like to sit and read or do close up work
- Holds near work extremely close
- Squints for distance or near vision
- Head tilt either all the time or for certain activities
- Poor performance at school/reading comprehension
- May have a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD
In any case, it is important for parents and guardians to make sure their loved one has an eye exam with an eye care professional, optometrist or ophthalmologist. We can rule out any issues that could be potentially harmful in the long run of your child’s visual development. School screenings can miss many vision issues.
Please give us a call 479.966.4232 or Click Here if you would like to schedule an appointment for you or your child.
— More to come about digital technology and your child’s vision! —