- What are common eye problems that children have?
- Optometric care for children
- When do children need corrective lenses?
- Pediatric eye exams
Good vision is an important consideration throughout an individual’s life, but it can be a serious problem in children. This field of medicine is known as pediatric optometry.
During the important years of development, children rely on their eyes to help them learn, pick up subtle social cues, engage in games successfully and enjoy hobbies and other activities.
However, some children have problems that impact their vision and prevent them from engaging in these activities successfully.
The Eye Society staff in Chicago can do testing and diagnosis of these problems, so children can enjoy better vision throughout their growing years.
What are common eye problems that children have?
Common eye problems children have include:
- Astigmatism that causes blurry images
- Crossed eyes, or lazy eyes that do not track correctly together
During a pediatric eye exam, the optometrist will check for these different issues that commonly occur in children.
In addition, an exam can detect congenital cataracts in children or other health problems that affect the eyes, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, neurological diseases or autoimmune system disorders.
If such a problem is suspected, your optometrist can refer you to a medical specialist that can investigate the problem and provide appropriate treatment, so that the condition does not negatively affect the child’s vision.
Optometric care for children
Many parents are surprised to learn that their children’s vision can be tested even before they begin to talk. Special techniques and equipment are used to detect vision problems in very young children to ensure they can see normally and to find problems with tracking, eye muscle coordination, and other issues.
Your child’s pediatric optometrist in Chicago can find vision problems and prescribe corrective lenses, recommend eye muscle exercises or determine if eye surgery is needed to correct an issue to ensure normal vision.
When do children need corrective lenses?
Conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are called “refractive errors.” These occur when the shape of the cornea does not focus images correctly on the retina at the back of the eye.
Corrective lenses help to re-shape the image that is sent to the retina so that it is focused more accurately. If your child needs eyeglasses, the optometrist will provide a prescription for correction and will help you to provide the right eyeglasses for your child’s needs.
Children can begin wearing contact lenses around the age of 10 to 12 when they can manage the special care techniques to care for these lenses.
Your Eye Society optometrist can advise you on whether your child is ready for contact lenses.
Pediatric eye exams
It’s important for both children and adults to have regular eye exams. During a pediatric eye exam, our optometrist will check your child’s vision and make sure their eyes are healthy.
What is a pediatric eye exam?
Pediatric exams are a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s ocular health.
During an exam, our optometrist evaluates the visual acuity of children, or how well they see at various distances.
Part of the exam will also involve an assessment of eye movement and coordination, along with the ability to follow moving objects. In addition, we will check the health of their eyes and look for any signs of disease or injury.
Why are pediatric eye exams important?
It’s important for children to have eye exams because they are more likely to experience vision problems than adults. As their eyes are changing rapidly, they could experience problems that compromise clear vision.
Did you know that roughly 25 percent of children have a vision problem that impacts their learning? Most of the content presented in school (up to 80 percent) is a visual format.
Children who can’t see clearly often have lagging grades or reduced confidence.
Regular exams with an eye doctor can prevent problems with children’s vision and get the appropriate treatment.
When should you schedule an eye exam for your child?
According to The American Optometric Association, children can get their first exam at six months.
Thereafter, they can have another exam at age three, and then again before kindergarten starts.
If your child wears glasses or contacts, they should have an eye exam at least once a year.
During an exam, we can evaluate your child’s prescription and adjust if necessary. A pediatric eye exam typically lasts around 30 minutes.
Our optometrist will ask your child to read from a vision chart and will also assess their eye health.
We may use special drops to dilate your child’s eyes, which can make them feel more sensitive to light. However, these drops are safe and help us get a better view of your child’s eyes.
Make Eye Society Your Optometrist for Kids in Chicago
We understand that pediatric optometry is a critical part of ensuring children’s success in academics, athletics and all other areas of their development.
With a friendly attitude and state-of-the-art technology, Eye Society can ensure that your child enjoys clear vision to help them succeed.
“Very smooth and easy”
Great experience. Quick eye exam and I purchased glasses there as well. The glasses are great, the staff was nice when I went to get them; making sure they fit well, etc. All in all very smooth and easy.
– Christine Crum, New Patient