Your child is always learning and one way to help your child is to have at least one eye exam by the time they are 3 years old. An eye exam for a child can be different from one for an adult.
A child’s vision can begin to develop as early as three months old.
The development of the eye begins in the womb and continues through infancy, childhood and adolescence. The first step in vision is that light enters the eye and is focused on a retina at the back of your child’s eye. The retina contains photoreceptors that convert light into signals sent to your child’s brain where it is interpreted as images or objects.
Your child’s eyesight will develop from birth until about 12 years old when their visual system reaches maturity. Children under three years old do not need routine vision exams because their eyes are still developing during this time period; however, if you notice any of these symptoms it may be an indication that your toddler needs an exam by an optometrist:
If a child has crossed his or her eyes too frequently, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
If a child has crossed his or her eyes too frequently, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Many eye problems are genetic and can affect one eye only, but other conditions such as stroke, brain tumors, thyroid disease, and prescription drug use can cause crossed eyes.
If your child’s primary care doctor thinks that he or she has crossed eyes due to an underlying problem that may affect their vision later in life (such as strabismus), they will recommend an eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. If there is no obvious reason for the crossed eyes—or if they were caused by another condition like a blocked tear duct or chronic allergies—your pediatrician may recommend waiting until preschool age before seeking further treatment.
Research has shown that a condition like amblyopia can be treated successfully in children up until the age of 9.
- This condition is most easily treated when caught early.
- If you notice your child having trouble using one eye, it is important to have them checked by an eye doctor.
- Your child may need glasses or contacts to help use both eyes together as a team.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children receive their first comprehensive eye exam at 3 years old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children receive their first comprehensive eye exam at 3 years old. However, if you’re concerned about your child’s eyesight or experience any problems with it, you should schedule an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible.
During the initial visit, the doctor will inspect your child’s eyes for signs of developmental delays or other issues related to vision function. They may also perform tests such as visual acuity testing and pupil reaction times to determine how well your child can see and react to light. If necessary, additional tests may be ordered depending on results from previous exams and/or symptoms reported by parents or teachers.
While doctors can see if a child’s eyes are aligned and if they move together with special equipment at a pediatrician’s office, they cannot diagnose conditions like farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism without an eye specialist called an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
While doctors can see if a child’s eyes are aligned and if they move together with special equipment at a pediatrician’s office, they cannot diagnose conditions like farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism without an eye specialist.
The best time to have your child’s eyes checked is during the first year of life. By age five, your pediatrician will examine your child again for any changes in vision that may be caused by problems with their eyesight. If you notice any changes in the way your child sees things around them or has trouble reading, it is important to schedule an appointment with their doctor immediately.
We hope you feel more confident about getting your child the eye care they need. If you are still nervous, it’s okay! Many parents are in the same boat as you, but we want to remind everyone that there is no need for anxiety when it comes to this important step. A comprehensive exam can be done safely by a pediatrician or an optometrist. The most important thing is that your child receives regular checkups from an eye specialist who can identify any vision problems before they become serious enough to affect learning in school or everyday life outside of school too much later on down the road!