At Aloha Eye Clinic, it is our mission to help families from the Wailuku and Kihei areas enjoy clear vision and general eye health well into their adult years. What many people do not realize is that the care that an eye doctor provides is as important during childhood as it is during the years of age-related vision problems. Because it is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we want to address this important issue of eye exams for children.
Where it All Starts
The very first step that must be taken to protect a child’s interest is to know he needs an eye exam. Routine, annual eye exams. That’s step one. Now, step two is to obtain care as early as possible. If you have a child who is past the age of 6 months and she has not yet had an eye exam, schedule one.
That’s right! Six months is a prime time to start checking up on those little peepers! Here’s why. For the first six months of life, the eyes are rapidly developing, which means vision is, too. Babies go from only being able to make out the boldest colors to see a wide range of hues at distances farther and farther away. It is at the six-month mark when vision tends to come together enough for a formal assessment. And this assessment matters.
Children need to be able to see well to learn to walk well, to read, and to engage fully in life. During the first eye exam, vision problems such as near- or farsightedness may be detected. Another common problem that can be found this early is amblyopia. Most people know this as lazy eye. Amblyopia is treatable with an eye patch, which is most comfortably worn when a child is younger.
We’re only up to step three, but this is the last step: to schedule another pediatric eye exam around age 3 to 4, and another just before a child begins school. From there on out, children need annual eye exams to monitor visual health.
Children are not prone to speaking up about vision problems. What you may notice are clues such as frowning or squinting. Better than waiting for such symptoms, contact us to schedule an eye exam as a proactive step towards a child’s best interest.