How Often Does My Child Need An Eye Exam?
Dr. Jim Martin 08/10/2016
If you are the parent of a little one, you should bring him/her in for an eye exam at a fairly high frequency. The importance of eye exams for children cannot be overstated. Nearly one-quarter of school-age children suffer from vision problems and approximately 10 percent of preschoolers have vision challenges.
Untreated childhood vision problems have the potential to harm your youngster's academic performance. But more importantly, untreated eye problems can cause permanent vision loss. Oftentimes, eyesight regresses in the early years only to plateau once adulthood is reached. This is just another reason to have your child's eyes examined on a regular basis.
Proper Frequency Of Eye Exams For Children
The American Optometric Association (AOA) states that the first eye exam should occur at 6 months of age. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old should undergo a second eye exam. Ideally, this exam will take place around the time of his/her third birthday.
Your child's eyes should be tested once again before he/she enters the first grade or kindergarten. For most kids, this point in time usually corresponds to the fifth or sixth birthday. If any vision problems are detected during this third eye exam, his/her eyes should be re-examined on an annual basis.
Annual eye exams will also be necessary if the optometrist determines that your child is “at risk” for vision problems. An array of different factors can place a child in the “at risk” category. Examples of such factors include a low birth rate, the mother's infection during pregnancy, the suspicion of a central nervous system dysfunction, anisometropia, strabismus, etc. A family history of congenital cataracts, retinoblastoma, macular degeneration, glaucoma or parents that have to wear glasses or contacts will also put a youngster in the “at risk” category.
Frequency of Eye Exams for Kids Not In The ‘At Risk’ Category
If your optometrist determines that your child does not fall into the “at risk” category, he should still have his eyes examined on a regular basis. Such an eye exam should take place at least once every year due to changes in vision caused by growth, therefore correcting vision issues before they have a chance to impact their education.
Reach out to Broome Optical to schedule your child's eye exam. Our team goes to great lengths to make eye exams as comfortable as possible for apprehensive youngsters and adults.