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The Importance of Pediatric Eye Exam
Pediatric Eye Exams are just as important as visits to the pediatrician. A healthy vision is essential to a child’s ability to engage in sports, learn, and achieve their academic potential. Babies as young as six months of age should have an Pediatric Eye Exam to ensure that the eyes are developing properly and are working as a team together. Preschoolers should have an eye exam, as visual skills are tightly tied to tasks, such as cutting, drawing, assembling blocks, and much more. A pre-kindergarten exam should be done. From there on, it’s wise to take your child for an annual eye and vision exam.
An optometrist can identify visual refractive errors, such as astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia during a pediatric eye exam. If the vision correction is needed, a prescription can be written for eyeglasses. An eye doctor can also identify another common eye problem known as “lazy eye.” Treatment for this condition typically entails wearing an eye patch on the normal eye to make the weaker eye improve. However, not all visual problems can be fixed with correction eye wear.
Your optometrist may recommend vision therapy for your child. This type of child eye care is akin to physical therapy, only for the eye. It entails a progressive set of eye exercises to improve how the brain interprets images. Often, prisms, computer programs, lenses, and other specialized instruments are used. Each pediatric eye exam receives an individualized program to target individual needs. With vision therapy, in-office treatment generally takes one-half hour to an hour. Patients are also given at-home exercise.
It is important to remember that your child’s sight is rapidly changing. Because of these changes it is even more imperative for them to have yearly exams. A school screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam done by an optometrist. Three important factors of learning in a pediatric eye exam that are sight dependent are recognition, comprehension and retention. Remember that your child’s development is dependent on their eyesight!
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