Pediatric Eye Care
Good vision is crucial for children to learn effectively. Even infants depend on their eyesight to explore and understand the world, which is why it's important to have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at different stages of their development.
During an eye exam, our eye doctor will assess essential visual skills such as focusing, peripheral vision, color vision, hand-eye coordination, and how well the eyes move together (binocular vision).
Additionally, the eye doctor will examine the external and internal structures of the eye to screen for eye diseases and health conditions. They’ll ask you about your child’s health history, including information about their birth, developmental milestones, family history of eye problems, previous eye injuries, and any medications they’re taking.
Based on the examination results, our eye doctor may recommend various treatment options to address their unique needs.
Eye Exams in Infants: Birth–24 Months
As babies grow, their visual system gradually develops. They learn to focus and coordinate their eye movements, while their brains learn to process what they see. This development is essential for their exploration of the world and the development of motor skills such as crawling, walking, and hand-eye coordination.
To ensure your baby's visual health, schedule their first eye exam at around 6 months of age. During this exam, an eye doctor will assess their visual acuity, eye development, and screen for conditions such as crossed eyes (strabismus).
If your baby was born prematurely or shows signs of developmental delay, they may have a higher risk of eye and vision problems. In such cases, the eye doctor may advise more frequent visits to closely monitor their development.
Eye Exams in Preschool Children: Ages 2-5
Between the ages of 2 and 5, children begin developing crucial intellectual and fine motor skills. This is when abilities like hand-eye coordination and depth perception start to take shape, which are important for tasks like reading, writing, sports, and drawing.
Parents should be attentive to signs of lazy eye (amblyopia), where one eye has weaker vision than the other, or crossed eyes (strabismus) — where one or both eyes turn inward or outward. Early treatment of these conditions significantly increases the chances of success.
Developmental delays related to recognizing objects, numbers, letters, or colors, as well as coordination difficulties, can also indicate visual problems. Other signs include squinting, frequent eye rubbing, sitting too close to the TV or reading materials, or avoiding activities like puzzles or coloring.
Eye Exams in School-Aged Children: Ages 6-18
Vision issues that go undetected can have a negative impact on children and teenagers in various parts of their lives, including academics, social interactions, sports, and personal development.
Children with poor visual skills often struggle with focusing or reading, leading to frustration and behavioral problems that may resemble neurological disorders such as ADHD. A child may not even be aware that their vision is abnormal, meaning the problem can go undetected until they have challenges in school.
In older children, watch for the following signs of vision problems:
- Short attention span
- Frequent blinking
- Avoidance of reading
- Tilting the head to one side
- Losing their place frequently while reading
- Double vision
- Poor reading comprehension