Vision is remarkably important, not only for perception but for learning development in children. Despite 80% of learning taking place visually in the first 12 years of life, 48% of parents with children under 12 have never taken their child to an eye care professional.
At True Eye Experts, we believe that every child deserves access to comprehensive eye care and, when necessary, proper eyewear. Our optometrists are specially trained to perform pediatric eye exams, but we’re often asked by parents, “does my child really need an eye exam?” Many parents are unaware of the importance of taking their child to the eye doctor, but we’re here to help. Here are a few reasons — and signs — that you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child:
Your Child May Have a Vision Problem — Even if They Haven’t Said Anything
Often, it’s easy to know when your child is unhappy or uncomfortable — because they’ll let you know! Whether it’s crying, whining, or simply complaining, many children will express when they have a stomachache, have fallen and scraped their knee, or are experiencing some other kind of health issue that’s causing them discomfort.
What they won’t complain about, however, is their eyesight.
Even if they have a vision problem, children often won’t realize that they can’t see the world clearly. For some children with vision problems, the world has always looked blurry — blurred vision has become the norm — and they have no point of comparison.
It can be easy to search out a doctor for a broken bone or a dentist for a toothache, but visiting the eye doctor is often a proactive, not reactive, action, making routine eye exams especially important.
Signs that Your Child Needs an Eye Exam
While children often don’t realize they have a vision problem, they can display symptoms of experiencing a poor vision. Parents, teachers, and other caregivers should keep an eye out for these behaviors:
Sitting Too Close to the TV
Have you ever caught your child sitting too close to the television or holding electronics too close to their face? This could be because they can’t see objects that are far away clearly, a refractive condition called myopia (farsightedness).
Covering One Eye or Head-Tilting
Some children will tilt their heads or cover one eye if they have an eye problem. Often, children who excessively exhibit these behaviors are struggling from amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye.”
When Should You Schedule an Eye Exam for Your Child?
The American Optometric Association recommends that children should have their first eye exam at 6 months old. They also recommend that children have their eyes examined at age 3, 5, and every year after starting school.
No matter how old your child, our optometrists are specially experienced with performing eye exams for young patients, from pediatric patients to toddlers, to young adults.
If you have any questions about your child’s eye health or want to schedule an exam at True Eye Experts, request an appointment.