Children’s eyes grow and develop rapidly, but any impediments to that development can have a serious impact on your little one’s well-being. That’s why Best Eyecare Associates urges parents to schedule pediatric eye exams from our eye doctor, Dr. Christine Best.
Infant Eye Care and Beyond
Newborn babies have yet to develop many of the core skills they’ll use throughout their lives, including vision. Clear vision is actually a learned process, a collaboration between the vision center of the brain and the eyes that develops over time. (Even so, your pediatrician will want to examine the eyes to determine whether infant eye care for an obvious problem is necessary.) Most infants have developed basic visual skills by 6 months of age — but if any challenges to ocular health or function still stand in the way, the development of other important abilities such as balance and coordination may be seriously affected.
When your child enters school, vision problems become especially troublesome, especially refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The inability to focus clearly at a specific distance may impair your child’s ability to read, do homework, take tests and view the blackboard, while also producing eye strain symptoms such as fatigue and headaches. An undiagnosed vision problem may even mislead teachers into thinking that your child has a learning disability.
When Should Your Child Have a Pediatric Eye Exam?
Since infant eyesight tends to settle in at the 6-month mark, the American Optometric Association recommends this as a good time to schedule an initial children’s eye exam. Our eye doctor can administer basic vision evaluations such as your baby’s ability to follow a moving object or react to different colors and shapes. We can also examine the eyes for signs of cataracts (which can sometimes affect infants), ocular tumors and eye alignment issues such as strabismus.
Age 3 is the recommended time to schedule a second pediatric eye exam. We can perform more detailed vision and eye function testing now that your child is able to describe to us what he sees. We continue to check the eyes for any signs of disease or structural problems; we also administer vision testing using special eye charts that display not letters but shapes for our preschool patients to interpret. The third pediatric eye exam should occur by the time your child first enters school. This gives us a chance to catch refractive errors and correct them by prescribing eyeglasses as needed. From this point on, a children’s eye exam should generally be scheduled every other year — or more frequently if your child is experiencing vision problems.
Give your child the chance to experience the world as clearly and beneficially as possible. Call our family eye care center at (303) 254-4888 to schedule a pediatric eye exam!