Children's vision...when do they need eye exams?

When should children have eye examinations if they haven’t complained of vision issues. Here is the schedule for children’s eye care that Dr. Mitchell recommends. This schedule is based on recommendations by The American Optometric Association.

  1. Each child should be seen for their first comprehensive examination by a primary eye care provider between 6 and 12 months. Why is this necessary if they can’t respond to questions about how they see? Dr. Mitchell can identify major eye health issues, or significant refractive errors (like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) that could hamper visual development. He gathers objective information by observing infant’s behavior about their eyes, and looking for disparities between the eyes based on how light is reflected from inside the eyes. He can view the inside of the eyes by dilating infant’s pupils (which is completely safe) to check for major eye health issues as well. If issues with vision or eye health are noted, Dr. Mitchell will discuss any treatment options, and how frequent ensuing eye exams should be.

  2. If no problems are detected at their first examination, Dr. Mitchell recommends their second eye exam should be between ages 3-5, right about preschool age. As little bodies grow, eyes are changing as well, and as children are developing, there is always potential for refractive/ vision issues to develop. Having an eye exam during preschool, or before kindergarten will help to ensure that children are prepared to use their vision for intense learning as they enter and progress through school. Children rarely complain about vision issues, because most often they don’t realize they could, or should be seeing differently. Dr. Mitchell can help make sure children are prepared with good vision so they can focus on other learning aspects of schooling.

  3. From ages 6-18, Dr. Mitchell recommends an eye examination every year, even if no obvious vision complaint is noted. Again, as children are developing, their eyes may be changing as well. This can especially be true during adolescent growth spurts; for some kids, vision can change in a matter of months!

  4. Children should be seen any time a concern is noted.

    • Child complains of difficulty seeing clearly

    • Eyes seem to cross at times, or turn out unintentionally

    • Child complains of double vision

    • Child has difficulty reading, even if it seems related to learning disorder or dyslexia

    • Child’s eyes are red, watery, or itchy, or child has seasonal allergies

    • Child complains of headaches that seem associated with schoolwork

Call our office to schedule your child’s examination, or if you have any question about Dr. Mitchell’s recommendations!

Source: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/ca...