It is estimated that up to 80% of what a child learns in school is through vision. This is why annual eye exams are important for children, especially those just starting school for the first time. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends a child’s first eye exam to occur between 6-12 months of age. The InfantSee program is a great way for a child to have their first introduction to the Optometrist because infants from 6-12 months of age can receive their first eye exam for FREE! The AOA then recommends an exam at 3 years of age, and another at 5 years of age (or before starting Kindergarten). Once children are in school, they should have an eye exam every 2 years if not wearing glasses/contact lenses, or every year if wearing glasses/contact lenses. However, these are just guidelines and your Optometrist may increase the frequency of exams based on the child’s needs.
The most common vision issues children face is that they are either slightly far-sighted, near-sighted, or have astigmatism. Luckily, these conditions are easily corrected with either glasses or contact lenses. It is important that children have accurate correction before starting school so that they can see clearly for all visual tasks, lessening their visual demands for learning. Early eye exams can also prevent Amblyopia (Lazy Eye), which is a sight-threatening condition for children.
It is also essential to make sure that each child’s eyes can not only see clearly, but track efficiently, focus accurately, team together smoothly, and process visual information appropriately. Any deficiency or delay in any of these visual skills can cause the child to struggle with school work and even experience symptoms such as difficulty reading, skipping lines, poor reading comprehension, blurred vision, or double vision. A comprehensive eye exam with an Optometrist can ensure that your child’s eyes are working to the best of their abilities and ready for the demands of school. Call today to schedule your child’s eye exam with Dr. Berry at Switalski Eye Care in Lewisville.