Comprehensive pediatric eye examinations are critical for monitoring vision and overall eye health in children.
A pediatric eye exam is more than a simple screening, it is an assessment of your child's visual function and development and eye health including:
An accurate description of visual strength not only takes acuity into account but our ability to gather and process visual information. A child may have "perfect" vision but struggle with optometric deficits that affect learning. Studies show that most vision problems that affect learning are not caused by poor eyesight. In many instances, there is nothing wrong with the visual system. Often, issues related to visual-motor or cognitive-developmental delay can be detected during such examinations.
While fundamental stages of visual advancement take place in infancy and toddlerhood, it is possible to develop these skills in young adulthood and beyond. They are important for monitoring conditions that might affect learning in school which can lead to stress and anxiety. Vision is crucial for learning and development for the following reasons:
Although certain populations are at greater risk for developing eye disorders than others, it is important to remember that child development is very individual and must be treated as such. All children should be evaluated for eye disorders even if they do not seem to be at risk.
Eye problems that involve an inability to focus or poor vision often present as physical symptoms. These include:
A child who struggles with visual perception will often struggle with mastery of any number of tasks. That is why it is important to recognize the signs that suggest the presence of a deficit, particularly if they have:
The emotional effects of having a visual perception problem can be devastating. The inability to perform well in school often leads to low self-esteem and can lead a child to think they are stupid, causing them to lose the motivation needed to succeed. Being able to identify signs of emotional distress is critical, particularly if a child exhibits:
Many optometrists recommend at least one comprehensive pediatric eye exam before your child begins school. Some common eye conditions in children include:
It's important not to get confused between a rudimentary screening performed by a pediatrician (or a school nurse) and a comprehensive eye examination from a pediatric optometrist. The former is done by a pediatrician as part of a standard physical exam. The latter is an exam by a trained eye doctor, which can extensively test all aspects of visual health.
The examination will begin with a case history of the child, including family and personal medical history, observations from the school, and complaints from the child. Following this, the optometrist will examine the following:
There are no substitutes for routine pediatric examinations to monitor and maintain overall ocular health to detect eye disorders and visual motor neurological deficits. Contact us to find out more.