Vision screenings at school and at the pediatrician’s office are important, but they are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination performed by a trained eye specialist. Children and infants should be evaluated closely to ensure proper visual development during those critical years. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at 6 months of age, at 3 years of age, and again at the start of school.
Our office is kid-friendly and we are happy to see your little ones—from elementary-school kids to teens! Schedule a pediatric eye exam with our team today.
For some children, the way they see is, to them, just the way it is! Young people with vision problems are often unaware that not everyone sees the way that they do and that it is possible to have much more comfortable and clearer vision. Children, especially under five, cannot articulate to Mom and Dad that everything they see is blurry. They think Mom and Dad see the trees as big green blobs as well! Children with uncorrected vision disorders can face many obstacles both academically, athletically, and socially. Our goal is to give your children the tools to reach their highest potential.
As eye care providers, we are not so concerned about the children that are flagged on a school or pediatrician's vision screening—we know those children will be seen and diagnosed properly. It's the children who pass that we worry about. Often these screenings give parents a false sense of security about their child's vision. School vision screenings usually center around one or two areas of vision, namely acuity or a 20/20 measurement, but do not look at how well the eyes focus or how they work together to provide a clear, single image. Often, color vision and depth perception are not tested, and both of these are important to the learning process. Even if a vision screening does not identify a vision disorder, a child could still have one.
According to the AOA, parents should look for children who exhibit one or more of these behaviors:
Doctors will ensure your young child can fixate on an object and follow that object in his/her visual field. We look at the way their pupils respond to light; an abnormal response could indicate a neurological problem. We also dilate the pupil to rule out rare, but serious medical conditions such as retinoblastoma, pediatric glaucoma, and congenital cataracts, just to name a few. It is perfectly safe to dilate your young child's eyes and they will experience the same mild side effects that you might, including blurred vision at close range and light sensitivity. The doctor will use a technique called retinoscopy to determine if glasses are needed and provide an accurate prescription if this is the case. By looking at the pattern of reflection from the back of the eye, the doctor can determine the refractive error (i.e. the amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). It's quick, painless, and requires minimal cooperation from the child.
Our doctor and staff are skilled at making a trip to the eye doctor a great experience for your little one—from start to finish.
We know that bringing your child to the eye doctor can be a stressful experience for both of you. That’s why our team aims to make your visit as easy as possible while accurately diagnosing any vision problems your child may have.
If your child has never had an eye exam or it’s time for their next one, please schedule an appointment with Tradewinds Eye Care & Optical. We look forward to seeing you!