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Questions & Answers About Children’s Eye Care

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Dr. Early Answers Your Questions About Pediatric Optometry

1) From what age should a parent be bringing in their children for an eye exam?

A child’s first eye exam should be between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

2) Why is it important to bring a child in at such a young age?

The leading cause of amblyopia (lazy eye) is only detectable with an optometrist’s eye exam.

3) What is the difference in terms of the examination process when you are checking the eyes of young children?

We do the same evaluation of the visual system on children as we do on adults. We just use objective techniques.

4) Are there any signs that parents should be looking out for that would point them to making an appointment with their optometrist?

Discharge from the eyes, and eye turn and white color of the pupil.

5) Do you find that some parents can express hesitancy in bringing in young children? What causes that hesitation?

Parents often do not understand that infants can be tested so they don’t see a reason to bring a child in for an evaluation.

6) How does school play a role in this?

School vision screenings are designed to detect amblyopia. At best, they detect only 60% of children with this condition. Moreover, school screenings will not detect any of the more common issues with a child’s vision.

7) Do you have issues with children that are shy or intimidated in the office, and how do you work with that?

Making a child feel comfortable is the reason why seeing a pediatric specialist is important.

8) Can you recall any particular story of a child that came into your office, in which you were able to detect an issue early on and therefore make a difference in that child’s eye health?

I have detected binocular vision conditions in many children that interfered with their academic success until corrected.