The Importance of Eye Exams for Children

Greetings to all. My name is Mike and I am the Optician here at IVO Eye Center. I have been in this business for decades and one facet of it has always puzzled me. That is, why more parents and guardians do not think of eye exams for youth as a necessary part of overall physical well being. An undiagnosed eye condition can affect the way a child perceives the world and can hinder learning. Sometimes a child’s fear of embarrassment may prevent them from alerting anyone. The result being that many caretakers do not even think about having a child’s eyes tested until a child finally does complain or a problem turns up during a screening at school or another venue.

You may be asking, are vision issues really that much of a problem for a significant number of kids? Well…. Yes, it is. Approximately 35 percent of preschool children have nearsightedness, farsightedness, and or astigmatism! This according to a study funded by The National Institutes of Health.

Early exams can be a critical part of a child’s ability to learn. A child needs to be able to see clearly at any distance within the classroom and beyond. Whether that is looking at something at their desk, watching the teacher at the blackboard or outdoors on a field trip. Otherwise, they are operating at an extreme disadvantage.

According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their first exam at 6 months. Subsequent exams should occur at 3 years old and then again just before they enter preschool at around 5 or 6 years of age. School aged children with no vision issues should then be checked every 2 years. For those that have an issue or wear glasses or contacts, exams should be done annually.

Our kids are facing so many challenges today. Not being able to see as best they can should not be one of them. Be proactive in making sure your child’s eyes are well cared for!

If you have questions, or would like to arrange an appointment please call 205-871-7767.

If you know of a child or adult that has need of an eye exam and or glasses but is not in a position to purchase them, call me at the above number. There are some programs that we partner with to provide needed eye wear and comprehensive exams for those in need. Call me for details.


* Dr. Gary Heiting " Eye Exams for Children " online at All About Vision

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