Children and Eye Health
Many people believe the first eye examination for a child is a vision screening in grade school. Optometrists in Reno and around the world are here to tell you that your child’s eye health is important to monitor before she enters school.
When Your Child Should Get Eye Exams
Your child needs fully medical eye exams before she enters kindergarten. According to the American Optometric Association, your child should visit the eye doctor to have pediatric eye exams around the ages of 1, 3, and 5. These age markers signify important developmental landmarks in your child’s growth.
Your child’s eyes and brain are still developing after she is born. The optic nerve is made up of the same cell matter as the brain, so the development of your child’s eyes and brain is strongly connected. The growth and development of your child’s brain and eyes must be closely monitored to ensure that the eyes and brain are working together to give your child full vision.
If there is an issue with your child’s eyes, an early diagnosis is ideal. Kids need medical eye exams at ages 1, 3, and 5 because a child cannot tell if there is something wrong with her vision. She has never seen any other way, so she does not know what she is supposed to be seeing.
Eye Problems with Children
The most common eye problem your child could have at a young age is called amblyopia. Amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye,” occurs when one of your child’s eyes is used less than the other. This problem is caused by your child’s brain “shutting off” one of the eyes and can happen for many different reasons. Children dealing with lazy eye have a higher likelihood of returning to full use of both eyes if the issue is diagnosed and treated earlier rather than later.
As your child develops in her younger years, her brain and eyes may not connect properly, causing amblyopia. If you are taking your child to medical eye exams at the proper developmental markers, optometrists can catch this early and start treating the issue right away.
As long as your child can see through one good eye, you as parents and her teachers may not notice she has a problem with her eyes. This causes the other eye to be left behind, causing continued vision loss. If your child is diagnosed with amblyopia after a thorough eye examination, your optometrist can prescribe glasses or vision therapy to retrain the child’s brain to use both eyes.
Children and Eye Health at Black Rock Vision Center
At Black Rock Vision Center, optometrists Dr. Southam and Dr. Moore can provide thorough eye exams to make sure your child is on the right track. If your child’s eyes do not appear to be working together, we can provide vision therapy to retrain your child’s brain to use both eyes.
The health of children’s eyes is important to us. Our team at Black Rock Vision Center can also help your child find that perfect pair of sunglasses to protect her eyes when she plays outside.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child’s pediatric medical eye exam!