You probably attend regular comprehensive eye appointments, but have you ever taken your child for a pediatric eye exam? These are virtually identical to an adult eye exam except that they are tailored to suit the age of your little one. Getting your child’s eyes checked regularly by a professional eye doctor is just as important for them as it is for any adult family member. Here’s why.
One of the greatest obstacles that many parents face is actually discovering that their child’s vision isn’t as clear as it could be. This is particularly true of very young children who may not realize that they have vision problems, or who don’t have the communication skills to be able to express this to you or their teacher.
In most schools, as much as 80% of learning is visual. This means that if your child doesn’t have an optimal vision, their ability to learn could be severely compromised. In fact, many children who are found to be struggling academically could simply have vision problems that could easily be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. Unfortunately, a number of children each year are misdiagnosed as having a learning disability when all they actually need is corrective eyewear. Regular pediatric eye exams will ensure that your child can fulfill their potential at school.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is the most common refractive eye condition in the world. Patients with myopia can see nearby objects clearly but require corrective lenses to see those which are further away, which otherwise appear blurred. Research has found that people who spend a lot of time in front of screens – be it a smartphone, tablet, or computer – show a more rapid progression of myopia. Since screen use is particularly high amongst children and teenagers, this makes them more likely to suffer from the rapid onset of nearsightedness. Regular eye exams will ensure that their vision is closely monitored. In some instanced, myopia-slowing/management treatment may be recommended to delay the progression of the condition. This treatment is most commonly known as orthokeratology.
Eye diseases may be more common as we get older, but some can strike at any age. Many of these may be able to be treated fairly simply, but others require much more intensive treatment, without which they could have a very real impact on your child’s long-term vision. Some of the most common eye diseases and conditions include conjunctivitis, eye allergies, corneal abrasions, glaucoma, and cataracts. By ensuring that your child attends regular pediatric eye exams, you can rest assured that the health of their eyes will continue to be carefully monitored and if any issues arise, they can be dealt with promptly.
Vision problems can cause a wide range of different symptoms. If your child experiences any of the following, it is likely that they would benefit from seeing an eye doctor.
- Frequent headaches
- Avoidance of close work or other visually demanding tasks
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty adjusting from light to dark and vice-versa
- Dizziness or motion sickness
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Poor reading comprehension
- Losing words or place while reading
- Poor handwriting
If you are at all concerned about your child’s vision, or if you would simply like to schedule a pediatric eye exam, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.