Our optometrists in Plano and Celina recommend regular eye exams as part of children’s eye care; good eyesight is imperative to a child’s development and academic, athletic, and social performance. Several eye conditions and vision problems in children respond well to treatment and can be corrected, if caught early. For this reason, eye exams with our optometrists in Celina or Plano should be scheduled for children at the ages of six months, three years, before entering first grade, and anytime eye-related symptoms are present.
Several symptoms or signs of vision problems present themselves in children. Physical symptoms of vision problems include excessive eye blinking or rubbing, eyes that cross or drift independently, drooping eyelids, headaches, blurry vision, double vision, and reading with books held close to the face. Vision problems can also cause poor academic performance, difficulty paying attention, trouble reading and writing, difficulty reading a whiteboard, and excessive time spent finishing homework. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child at any age, schedule a children’s eye care appointment with one of our offices.
In addition to astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, eye problems common among children include amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (the misalignment of eyes), eye infections, and conversion insufficiency (trouble maintaining eye alignment while focusing on nearby objects). Children also commonly experience trouble with focusing, depth perception, and color vision.
Children’s Eye Care: What to Expect During an Eye Exam
Children’s eye care appointments will vary slightly depending on the age of your child. Here is some of what you can expect.
During an infant’s eye exam, our optometrists check to see that an infant’s eyes are developing normally by testing pupil response in the absence or presence of light, testing whether or not the infant can fixate and follow an object with his or her eyes, and by testing preferential looking with plain and brightly patterned cards.
Young children do not need to know the alphabet to have their vision tested. Our optometrists use vision charts which include special symbols, easily recognized by young children to test visual acuity. Using a test called retinoscopy, our optometrist will shine a light into the child’s eye through several lenses. By observing the way the light reflects off the child’s retina, our optometrist can determine your child’s prescription. A test called Random Dot Stereopsis uses projections of 3D dots and 3D glasses to test that your child’s binocular vision (eyes working together) is functioning properly.
Eye exams for older children are similar to those which adults experience at the eye doctor. We test visual acuity, colorblindness, binocular vision, and eye structures, looking for any problems or early signs of eye disease.