Routine eye exams are an important part of your child’s preventative care, yet many parents don’t realize that they should be taking their kids for regular pediatric eye exams. Exactly how often these should be will depend on your child, but most parents are advised to bring their children in for routine eye exams at least once every two years – more often if they wear glasses or contact lenses. Why are pediatric exams so important? Let’s find out.
While problems with your eye health are more common as you get older, they can still develop in younger people too. Comprehensive eye exams aren’t only used to check how clearly your child can see, but instead, are also used to assess the health and condition of their eyes. Monitoring them regularly can enable our eye doctor to detect any developing problems early on before they cause unpleasant symptoms or severely impact the quality of your child’s vision. Some of the conditions that can be detected include conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma, and keratoconus.
One of the most common problems for parents is that many children don’t actually realize that they are experiencing a visual problem and that what they are seeing isn’t normal or could be clearer. Without routine pediatric eye exams, any issues could go unnoticed for some time, and this could affect your child’s development, education, and even safety. Some of the signs that your child could be experiencing an eye problem include the following:
Complaining of headaches
Complaining of tired eyes
Regularly rubbing their eyes
Problems with reading, such as needing to hold their book close to their face or losing their place when they read
Eyes pointing in different directions or not moving simultaneously
Poor hand-eye coordination
Sitting too close to the television or board in the classroom
These are all indicators that you should arrange for your child to attend a pediatric eye exam.
We rely heavily on our vision to keep us safe in our day-to-day activities. For example, we listen and look when are crossing the road, or we read the label on medicine before we take it. While your child may not be ready to do any of these things independently just yet, they will be starting to use visual cues in their development. Therefore, ensuring that they have a clear vision is crucial to their ongoing safety.
Studies have found that as much as 80% of what our children learn in the first decade of their life is presented visually – both at home and in a school setting. This means that in order for them to learn and develop as they should, they need to be able to see clearly. Many children are misdiagnosed with learning difficulties every year when they are actually suffering from visual problems that could be detected with a routine pediatric eye exam.
Myopia is the most common refractive eye condition in the world. Also known as nearsightedness, it is characterized by the ability to see nearby objects clearly, but those at intermediate or far distances appear progressively blurred. Myopia can develop at any age, but most often starts in childhood, when children undergo a period of rapid growth. Since it is a progressive condition, it can get worse without treatment. Controlling myopia is important since high myopia has been linked to increased risk of serious eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
If you would like to find out more about routine pediatric eye exams, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your child, please contact our office in San Bernardino, CA at (909) 316-2100.