Pediatric Eye Exams
Children can have eye health and vision problems, and a pediatric eye exam is essential to detect issues early in a child’s life so that they can get proper care before problems worsen.
Dr. Artee Nanji and the team at Primary Eye Care in Arlington and Memphis offer pediatric eye care services. Our doctor has the experience and expertise to diagnose and treat eye health and vision problems in children.
When Should Children Get a Pediatric Eye Exam?
Children should have their first eye exam at six months, then again at three years old and before they enter kindergarten.
Once a child is in school, he or she should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years if no vision correction is needed. If a child has been prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses, then they should be examined on an annual basis or as recommended by the optometrist.
The eye exam methods our doctor uses depend on the age of the child. However, in all cases, the pediatric eye exam will include learning about their history, testing their vision, determining whether eyeglasses are needed, testing the alignment of their eyes, conducting an eye health evaluation, and if needed, prescribing eyeglasses.
Why are Eye Exams Important for Children?
It’s important for children to have their eyes examined to ensure they are healthy and that they don’t have any vision problems which may interfere with their performance in school. Learning is all about vision; in fact, up to 80% of what a child learns is presented visually. Eye exams for children assess whether they have the necessary visual skills which are essential for learning:
- Excellent vision for near, up-close work and for distance.
- Comfortable and correct “eye teaming”, which means the eyes work well together and can focus on the same place in space.
- Excellent ability to switch the focus from an object up close to an object in the distance.
- Accurate eye movement skills, such as the ability to read a line of text.
What are the Signs of Vision Problems in Children?
Kids aren’t always able to effectively communicate about their difficulties with vision, so eye health problems in children can be difficult to detect. If vision problems are left unchecked, they can progress and negatively impact your child’s life as they grow up. Some early indicators of vision problems in children include the following behaviors:
- Frequent blinking, squinting, or irregular eye movements
- Frequently turning or tilting their head
- Covering or closing one eye to see better
- Poor hand-eye coordination or motor skills
- Rubbing their eyes frequently
- Frequent headaches
- Leaning in too close to see something or read
- Learning difficulties and poor handwriting
If you observe these behaviors, they may indicate that your child has a vision or eye health problem. Please schedule an appointment for a pediatric eye exam so that the doctor can determine the cause and possible treatment options. Delaying care may cause your child more serious or even permanent damage, depending on the condition.
Comprehensive Pediatric Eye Exams at Primary Eye Care
The pediatric eye exam at Primary Eye Care in Memphis and Arlington detects eye defects and vision impairment while also assessing your child’s risk for developing eye conditions later in life. Our exams are more thorough than those offered at the pediatrician’s office or schools, which screen for potential vision problems but do not diagnose or treat them.
Don’t wait until a vision problem is apparent! Get your child’s eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. Contact us today to set up your child’s eye exam.
Can my child wear contact lenses during sports activities?
Yes. There are many options for vision correct during specific activities. We like daily disposables for a lot of them. They are clean every time they are worn and if they get a lot of dirt, sweat, dust in the eyes during the activity, you don’t have to worry about cleaning them. They are discarded in the garbage or brought to our office for a special recycling program for contact lenses and their containers.
When should my child's eyes be examined?
Every 12 months. They are growing and changing rapidly and a lot of times their eyes are as well. At times, they may need to be examined more frequently to counter that growth and address any prescription changes.
Will sitting too close to the television set hurt my child's eyes?
Sitting close to the TV will put more demand on your child’s focusing system. It’s best to be farther away from screens. With handheld devices, make sure the to keep the device away from the eyes at the distance measured between the fingertips to the elbow of your arm.
Is my child likely to inherit my need for glasses?
Genetics can play a role in your child’s vision. But there are other components that factor in, specifically screen time vs. outdoor time. We are seeing kids of younger ages in glasses with higher prescriptions or earlier than when their parent/s started wearing glasses.