The American Optometric Association recommends that children have a complete eye exam at six months, three years, and five years of age. After that, your child should have a complete annual eye exam, if no vision correction is required, every one to two years.
Comprehensive eye exams are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems, injury, and disease. Early detection allows for treatment to begin before the child experiences difficulty in school due to poor vision, or before any permanent damage has been done to the eye(s).
Exams test visual acuity, eye tracking, and focusing skills, and detect problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, amblyopia, crossed eyes, dyslexia, and color blindness.
Common Vision Problems for Children
Many children experience the same vision problems as adults, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, as well as congenital vision conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (eye turns), which can significantly affect proper vision development. Young children may be unaware of the fact that they are experiencing an abnormal vision, which is why regular exams and early detection are essential in maintaining healthy eyes for your child.
We provide specialized pediatric eye care services that focus on ensuring that your child maintains a clear, strong vision as they grow.
School Eye Exams
Clear vision and healthy eyes are important not only to your child's overall health and well-being but are also directly related to their academic performance in school. Comprehensive eye exams are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems, injury, and disease. While vision is likely tested at your child's school each year, these exams only evaluate eyesight and do not test the overall health or visual function of the eyes.
An eye examination performed by a certified eye doctor will not only test vision but also evaluate the eyes for more serious conditions and diseases. We perform eye exams and vision screenings for children of all ages.
Regular testing helps detect any problems early, which allows treatment to begin before the child experiences difficulty in school due to poor vision, or before any permanent damage has occurred.
Your Child's Pediatric Eye Exam
During your child's eye exam, the doctor will evaluate:
- Near vision
- Distance vision
- Eye coordination
- Focusing skills
- Peripheral awareness
- Color vision
- Ocular health
These vision aspects are assessed through traditional eye charts, including charts that use special symbols instead of letters for young children; retinoscopy, which is a technique using light to determine a child’s prescription; random dot stereopsis, which assesses depth perception and a dilated eye examination to assess the ocular health.
Older children undergo testing very similar to those used for adults, including a visual field test, dilation, slit-lam examination, binocular vision testing, retinoscopy, and refraction. After the exam is completed, your child's doctor will develop a treatment plan that may include an eyeglasses prescription, medication, vision therapy, or surgery if any conditions do exist.
Common Childhood Eye Conditions
In addition to detecting vision problems, a comprehensive eye exam also checks for common childhood conditions such as a lazy eye (amblyopia) or eye turns (strabismus). These conditions are often present at birth as a result of genetic factors and should be treated early to reduce the risk of complications. Treatment may include glasses to improve focusing, eye exercises to improve vision habits or surgery to align the eyes.
Our exams may also detect visual efficiency and processing disorders that would inhibit your child’s ability to perform well in school.
It is important for parents to explain the importance of professional eye care and treatment to their children in order to promote proper eye health and a lifetime of strong, healthy eyes.
At Frommer Eye Centers, we are now offering no-cost comprehensive eye examinations to infants between 6 months and 12 months in our Bronx office location through the American Optometric Association’s InfantSEE ® program, regardless of insurance coverage. An InfantSEE ® examination is NOT a screening; it is a comprehensive infant-age appropriate examination.
Common vision and ocular healthy problems that can be detected are retinal disorders, amblyopia, strabismus, and other visual dysfunction and ocular disease.
Common assumptions per public survey from BabyCenter.com include the following:
- My baby’s eyes are changing and their vision is still developing in the first year, so it’s better to wait until the child is older to get their eyes checked.
- Not true. If left untreated, eye and vision problems can affect learning when the child reaches school-age and may lead to permanent vision impairment.
- My pediatrician already checks my baby’s eyes at the wellness exam. They should be okay.
- The pediatrician does a quick vision screening an does not usually eye exam that would check for strabismus (eye turns/misalignment), amblyopia (lazy eye), refraction errors, or ocular disease.
- Since my baby can’t talk, he/she won’t be able to respond during an eye exam.
- We use light reflexes and objective measurements to detect eye conditions. At this age, most infants do not understand what is going on and usually find the exam enjoyable with all of the light stimuli.
For more information and to schedule an appointment for your infant, please call our office at 718-741-3200