Children's Eye Services
Experts suggest that 80% of learning is visual, which means that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, his or her learning can be affected. This is also true for infants who develop and learn about the world around them through all of their senses including their sense of sight. To make sure that your children have the visual resources they need to grow and develop normally, their eyes and vision should be checked by an optometrist at certain stages of their development. Here at Prism Eye Care we examine children ages 3 and up. In some cases additional testing or vision therapy may be required, in which case a referral to a pediatric specialist will be provided.
Eye Exams in Preschool Children: 3-5
Between the ages 3 and 5 children experience extreme growth in intellectual and motor skills. During this time they will develop the fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and perceptual abilities that will prepare them to read and write, play sports and participate in creative activities such as drawing, sculpting or building. This is all dependent upon good vision and visual processes.
It is during this time that parents should be on the lookout for signs of lazy eye (amblyopia) – when one eye doesn’t see clearly, or crossed eyes (strabismus) – when one or both eyes turns inward or outward. The earlier these conditions are treated, the higher the success rate.
Parents should also be aware of any developmental delays having to do with objects, numbers or letters recognition, color recognition or coordination, as the root of these types of problems can often be visual. If you notice your child squinting, rubbing his eyes frequently, sitting very close to the TV or reading material, or generally avoiding activities such as puzzles or coloring, it is worth a trip to the optometrist.
The Optometrist will also examine the area around the eye and inside the eye to check for any existing or potential eye diseases or health conditions. You should tell the optometrist of any relevant personal history of your child such as a premature birth, developmental delays, family history of eye problems, eye injuries or medications the child is taking. You should also address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem.
Eye Exams in School-Aged Children: Ages 6-18
Undetected or uncorrected vision problems can lead to children and teens suffering academically, socially, athletically and personally. If your child is having trouble in school or in afterschool activities there could be an underlying vision problem. Proper learning, motor development, reading, and many other skills are dependent upon not only correct vision, but also the ability of your eyes to work together. Children that have problems with focusing, reading, teaming their eyes or hand-eye coordination will often experience frustration, and may exhibit behavioral problems as well. Often they don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help.
In addition to the symptoms written above, signs of vision problems in older children include:
- Short attention span
- Frequent blinking
- Avoiding reading
- Tilting the head to one side
- Losing their place often while reading
- Double vision
- Poor reading comprehension
If the optometrist does determine that your child has a vision problem, she may discuss a number of therapeutic options which may include eyeglasses or contact lenses, depending on the condition. A referral to a pediatric specialist will be made if necessary. Some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early and while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible.
Call us Today to Schedule an Appointment for Your Child!