Eye Exams… no one really likes them but they are so important! As a new parent, I would have never known when was the right time. Maybe before kindergarten or only if she complained of eye issues. Who knows! There’s so much that we have to do as parents that sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. Well, here is a big reminder, so let’s dive into it!
When to Schedule the First Exam
Per the American Academy of Opthalmology, your child should have his very first eye exam at birth. Followed up by an exam between 6 months to 1 year old. Next, once she is between 3 and 3 and a half, her next exam should occur. Then again when your child enters school, so around 5 or 6 years old. Now, I know you’re thinking this sounds like a lot but I promise I will tell you why it’s so important!
Why are Eye Exams Important?
Let me throw some statistics at you! These are from Eye Care Business:
- 23 Million children have vision problems
- 95% of vision issues can be corrected if detected and treated early enough
- 2.4 Million children between the ages of 0-4 are affected.
Those numbers alone are staggering! In addition the fact that if caught and treated early enough, some eye conditions can be corrected! Now, that’s not to say that all eye exams can correct every eye condition but if you can catch a problem early on then the severity may be able to be lessened.
You know those cute little babies with glasses? Some have them for protection of their unaffected eye if they require a prosthetic or are blind in one eye. The other reason is that they have a vision issue, such as lazy eye, that their ophthalmologist is trying to correct. There’s always a reason for glasses and it can be so important!
Vision Screening vs Eye Exam
A Vision Screening is an exam that is usually performed by a school nurse or pediatrician. It can be used to detect that there may be an issue with your child’s vision but cannot diagnose.
An Eye Exam is a comprehensive exam is performed by an ophthalmologist. They are able to diagnose and treat eye conditions. Your child should have an eye exam if they fail a vision screening, complain of vision issues, were born prematurely, have a family history of eye conditions, or due to an existing medical conditions such as Down Syndrome.
It is important to catch and diagnose any medical condition early for the best possible outcome. Just as your child has an annual physical, they should get an annual eye exam once they are in school. As someone who comes from a family with not so great vision, make sure your littles can see the blackboard (are these still used today or am I showing my age)! Eye health is a very important part of our overall health and well-being. Make sure you keep those baby blues, browns greens, and every color in between in check and healthy!