Why Children’s Eye Exams are Important
Good vision is essential to your child’s overall development. Unfortunately, many parents overlook the importance of regular eye exams in their child’s healthcare routine. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), one in four children have an undetected vision problem that can negatively impact their performance in school and other areas of their lives.
The earlier a vision problem is detected, the easier it is to treat. Children’s eyes are still developing until around the age of eight, so early detection and treatment of vision problems can prevent long-term vision issues. Regular eye exams are essential for detecting vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and lazy eye, among others.
Children with undetected vision problems may struggle academically. They may have difficulty seeing the board or reading textbooks, which can lead to frustration and even a lack of interest in learning. In fact, the AOA reports that up to 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually. Correcting vision problems with glasses or contact lenses can improve a child’s academic performance and overall quality of life.
When to Schedule an Eye Exam
- Infants should have their first eye exam at 6 months of age. During this exam, an eye doctor will check for basic vision development and eye health.
- Children should have another eye exam at age 3. At this age, an eye doctor can test for common vision problems and ensure that the child’s eyes are working together properly.
- Between ages 5 and 6, children should have another eye exam. This is a key time to detect and correct any vision problems before the child starts school.
- After age 6, children should have an eye exam every 1-2 years. This helps ensure that their vision is developing normally and that any vision problems are caught and corrected early.
Regular eye exams are essential for your child’s eye health and overall development. Don’t wait for your child to complain of vision problems before scheduling an eye exam. By taking a proactive approach and scheduling regular eye exams, you can help ensure that your child has good vision and is set up for success in school and beyond.
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