When a pediatrician is examining a newborn baby, one of the areas that he or she will examine is the baby’s eyes. They will also be checked in subsequent visits as they get older. Despite these checks by the pediatrician, parents should also take their children to the eye doctor within the first couple of years of their lives.
Eye doctors have specialized training to ascertain vision health. Some doctors advise getting eye exams as early as when a child is 6 months old since this is around the time a child starts to develop focus ability, notes colors and can perceive depth. Parents should also take their children to an eye doctor just before they start school.
Babies are not born with clear eyesight, so it is important for an eye doctor to monitor the development of the child’s eyes and eyesight until he or she can determine that the child’s progression is normal. So why is it important for parents to make sure that their children’s eyesight is checked regularly? Below are three of the main reasons.
The number one reason medical experts insist on children having eye exams is so that they can detect abnormalities early and treat them before the child’s eyesight is permanently affected. Eye doctors also want to know of any odd behavior from the child such as frequent eye rubbing or excessive blinking so that they can diagnose the problem quickly. If an eye doctor does not detect an eye problem early, especially before a child starts school, the problem could potentially interfere with the child’s learning.
A child’s eyesight is the most important tool for learning. If a child struggles with his or her eyesight, he or she will also struggle to understand the information in the classroom.
Early Treatment and Management
Once an eye doctor diagnoses a child with an eye problem, treatment should begin as soon as possible since it is easier to treat eye problems in childhood rather than in adulthood. Surprisingly, many conditions will manifest symptoms as early as when a child is an infant. If parents are proactive in catching these signs and having frequent checkups, treatment can start as soon as the diagnosis is given.
Eye exams mostly involve checking for simple conditions such as nearsightedness and farsightedness to complex conditions such as amblyopia, which in simple terms is a lazy eye. Treatment can be as simple as enhancing a child’s diet with particular foods or prescribing glasses. However, in more potentially serious cases, doctors may recommend surgery.
In the event that a child is diagnosed with an eye problem, frequent checkups will be mandatory. For example, a child with prescription glasses should see his or her eye doctor at least once a year to ensure that their eye doctor is able to monitor the treatment plan and adjust accordingly, or even suggest further treatment if needed.
We at Clarke EyeCare Center have specialists with extensive experience and state-of-the-art equipment to detect and treat eye abnormalities. We encourage parents to bring their children for eye exams as soon as possible. For further questions or to schedule an exam, please call our office in Wichita Falls, Texas at 940-905-0700.