As a parent, it’s important to have your child make regular visits to the pediatrician to make sure they’re growing and thriving. While it’s true that doctors do perform routine vision screenings for children during these exams, they are far from comprehensive. In order to ensure that your child’s eyes are as healthy as the rest of them, and that they don’t have a vision problem that could impact their overall development, it’s important to get them a regular eye exam from our optometrist.
When to Schedule Your Child’s First Eye Exam
The American Optometric Association recommends that babies receive their first eye exam when they are six months old. As long as no abnormalities or other issues are detected, another exam should be completed when they are three years old, and a third between the ages of five and six. Once your child is in school, they should have an eye exam from a professional once a year even if they also participate in a vision screening in school.
These regular checkups are important because your child’s eyes are growing along with them. While some types of vision problems are detectable early on, some, like astigmatism, for example, may take some time to cause symptoms. Often children can’t put into words why they have trouble reading or don’t want to pay attention in school, and so a regular visit to our optometrist may provide the answers you’ve been looking for.
What We Test During Kids’ Eye Exams
During kids’ eye exam, we’ll use an age-appropriate method to test both distances and close up vision. We’ll also check to see how well your child’s eyes work together to focus on an object at various distances, and we’ll track their eye movements to make sure there are no abnormalities. Hand-eye coordination and peripheral awareness are important areas that we’ll investigate as well, and we accomplish this all in a relaxed, non-threatening environment for your child.
Establishing a Healthy Lifelong Habit
No matter how old your child is or how long it’s been since they’ve seen our eye doctor, it’s never a bad time to start building an annual eye exam into your routine. If it turns out your child does have a vision issue, we’ll work to provide them with the proper prescription for corrective lenses, and we’ll adjust that prescription over time to ensure they’re always seeing clearly.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about our eye exams for kids or to schedule one for your child, call our Portland office today at (503) 546-4460.