It is important to know when a child needs an eye exam. Experts agree that eye care should start at age 1 to ensure that any eye-related problems will be detected early on. Accordingly, eye care should be preventive and not just curative. This is what Cleveland Clinic has to say.
When to Get Your Child’s First Eye Exam
You want to get your young children off to a good start in every way — and that includes their eye health. But when is the right time to start having your child’s eyes checked? Babies and toddlers can’t read an eye chart, after all. It’s best to start early.
It’s important not to delay eye exams for young infants and children because some early eye problems can affect vision for life. Finding a problem early can keep a minor issue from becoming something major (and harder to treat).
Dr. Elias Traboulsi, Head of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Cleveland Clinic, clarifies that an eye exam is not all about knowing whether your child has to wear glasses, but also as a means of preventive care. This means that even if there are no symptoms that will merit a visit to the doctor, they should bring their toddlers for an eye exam.
Children should get a comprehensive eye exam regularly after the age of one. If you are a parent and still wondering what the perfect time would be, Dr. Traboulsi enumerates four instances for your reference. His first tip is not to wait until they are required by schools. Most preparatory schools require getting a physical examination first before enrolling. He urges parents not to wait this long as to avoid future risks.
Family history is an important factor. Dr. Traboulsi says that if eye problems run in the family, the chances of your toddler having an eye defect are high. Accordingly, it is best to have this detected early on through an eye exam. Another tip is to visit an eye specialist instead of a pediatrician. An ophthalmologist will be better equipped in detecting and treating vision problems.
Last but not the least, Dr. Traboulsi urges parents to go with their gut. Parents are extra sensitive to their children. The moment they notice an issue should also be the right time to visit an eye doctor. Sitting on it may only worsen the situation and risk the toddler’s health.
Significance of a First Eye Exam
A toddler’s first visit to an eye specialist is incredibly important. If he ends up with perfect vision, then parents can just continue to regularly bring their child to an ophthalmologist for preventive care. On the other hand, if he does end up with an eye defect, it will be detected early on and treated accordingly. Otherwise, the situation can worsen or lead to vision loss.
Examples of eye issues include lazy eye and crossed eyes. A lazy eye can be corrected through a treatment while crossed eyes require more work like having to wear an eye patch or special eyeglasses. These are necessary steps to fix the issue early on and maintain his quality of life.
Calgarysmallbiz shares a clip of Dr. Osiowy performing an eye exam on a toddler:
Are you ready to take your toddler to an eye specialist now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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