A child's vision plays a crucial role in their physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Infants can only recognise people, shapes, and colors, as children grow, their eyesight enables them to acquire knowledge, develop motor skills, and engage in educational and recreational activities. Clear vision helps kids to succeed academically, and boosts self-confidence.
When to Get a Children's Eye Test
The first comprehensive eye exam for children should be performed at 6 months of age, according to eye care professionals. It enables early detection of vision problems. Also preschool vision testing at the age of 3 or 4 helps identify issues with their eyes or vision before they start school.
Signs of Vision Problems in Children
- Squinting or rubbing the eyes - Frequent eye rubbing, squinting, sitting too close to screens, unable to see distant objects, indicate vision problems in kids.
- Frequent headaches - Frequent or recurring headaches, especially after reading or doing close-up work, can be a sign of an underlying vision problem in children.
- Poor coordination - Difficulty with coordination, like bumping into things or knocking things over, could indicate a vision problem in a child.
- Avoiding reading or close-up tasks - If a child avoids reading or complains of discomfort when doing close work like coloring or crafts, it may be a sign of an underlying vision issue.
Eye Exams for Children
Annual comprehensive eye exams are essential to children's learning and development. Good vision is essential when babies begin to explore their surroundings. Eye exams protect children's eyesight, enable adjustments before vision problems worsen, and help them see properly for the best chance at school and life.
Common Vision Problems in Children
- Myopia (nearsightedness) - Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common vision condition where objects up close appear clear but objects farther away appear blurry.
- Hyperopia (farsightedness) - Hyperopia, also called farsightedness, is a common vision condition where close objects appear blurry but distant objects may appear more clear.
- Amblyopia (lazy eye) - Amblyopia is a vision development disorder in which the brain and eyes do not work together properly. It results in decreased vision in one or both eyes.
- Strabismus (crossed eyes) - Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes causing them to point in different directions. One eye may turn in, out, up or down compared to the other when looking at an object.
Tips for Choosing Children's Eyewear
To provide the greatest level of comfort, choose eyeglass frames that are the proper size and form for your child's face. Choose sturdy yet flexible frames that can withstand drops and bumps for busy children. Adjustable nose pads and temples help to ensure a secure fit and avoid sliding. Most importantly let the child be involved in choosing their glasses, if they love the glasses they are more likely to wear them.
Promoting Healthy Vision in Children
- Encourage everyday outdoor games, which strengthen eye muscles and vision abilities, to protect your children's eyes for the rest of their lives.
- To lessen eye strain, limit your screen time and take pauses.
- Use suitable illumination when studying or reading to prevent squinting and eye fatigue.
- Offer a diet high in fruits and vegetables that are vitamin A, C, and E-rich, as well as omega 3 oils that support the development of the eyes.
- Instill proper hygiene practices like washing hands before touching your eyes and wiping your nose and eyes with new tissues to avoid getting sick.
Here are 10 Warning Signs your Child may need an Eye Test
- Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
- Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
- Losing their place while reading or using the finger to guide their eyes when reading
- Squinting or tilting the head to see better
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing
- Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
- Losing focus or falling behind in school.
- One or both eyes are turning in or out.
- The pupil is white or grey instead of black (this one requires urgent medical attention).
When to Seek Professional Help
Get immediate eye treatment if your child rubs, squints, or tilts their head regularly. Additionally, if they develop a sensitivity to light, have blurry or double vision. Don't wait to address vision issues. The best results for developing eyes come from early intervention. Schedule an Eye Exam at Lynbrook Optical today!