A Closer Look at Eye Care for Children
Parents have a lot to consider when it comes to the health of their kids, and that includes their eyes! Marano Eye Care has taken the time to put together a fun guide of stats, facts, and general care tips for our family of eye care patients in Livingston, Denville, Newark, and Cedar Knolls.
Parents Tend to Wait Longer for Eye Checkups
Everyone knows how important dental care and getting a physical is, but it seems parents are forgetting about complete eye exams. According to a survey conducted by KRC Research, the Vision Council, and the American Optometric Association, 98% of parents are sure to take their children to the dentist or physician for the first time, before symptoms appear. In comparison, when it comes to their children’s eye care, that number drops to 76%!
The reality is that the American Optometric Association recommends that kids receive three eye exams before they are seven years of age. 50% of the parents surveyed had never taken their children for an eye exam at all. Why? Because 60% of the same group did not think that an eye exam was crucial to the overall healthcare of their child, especially if their child didn’t need glasses.
Do My Children Need Eye Exams?
A child should get their first eye exam at approximately the age of six months. This is because an infant is constantly changing, their eyes included. At first, babies are nearsighted and need high-contrasting color. But at six months, visual acuity begins to improve. Setbacks in the development of the eyes can lead to vision problems getting worse and a potential lifetime hindrance could be the result.
Once your child is between three and four, another routine eye check-up should be done. At this point, much of a child’s eye development has occurred. Any problems that have risen can be properly addressed. If your kid’s eye exam doesn’t turn up anything, it doesn’t mean that their eyes will be fine. Child eye exams should at this point become an annual checkup, just like a physical.
What Benefit Comes from Regular Eye Checkups?
Just like physicals for overall body health, annual eye exams are the most effective way to prevent permanent damage from eye conditions once they develop. The most common eye conditions, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, are all easily identifiable and treated with prescription eye glasses. But several more complicated eye conditions can be mitigated by catching it as early as possible. One example is amblyopia, or lazy eye. When a lazy eye is caught early, a corrective eye patch can be utilized to improve the afflicted eye’s performance.
When eye care conditions are left untreated, it doesn’t just affect your child’s eyesight. Their overall quality of life and education is affected too. Uncorrected eye conditions commonly lead to headaches, poor athletic performance, difficulty reading, writing and paying attention, and overall poor school performance. School is hard enough as it is!
What to Expect from A Pediatric Eye Exam
A complete eye exam will generally have the following components:
- A binocular assessment for crossed eyes and lazy eyes
- A general health write up
- Eye evaluation for common conditions and overall eye health
- An ophthalmologist or optometrist will inspect the eyes and eyelids, examine eye muscle movements, examine the pupils, and the reflection of light at the back of the eye.
- Once a child reaches a certain age, an Ophthalmoscope can be used to see the back of the eye as well.
- Corneal light reflex testing will examine the cornea and the reaction to light being reflected against the cornea surface.
- A cover test has a child focus on a target while the ophthalmologist or optometrist cover one eye at a time to find any shifting that occurs.
- A traditional visual acuity test will be done as well, reviewing how a child recites reading numerous lines of characters from a certain distance.
- Prescription lenses when necessary for nearsighted or farsighted children
Find the Right Eye Doctor Near You
Do you live in northern New Jersey and are looking for a new eye doctor? Marano Eye Care’s team of doctors is always looking forward to seeing new patients! We have made it our goal to create personal connections with each person, ensuring that proper eye care never loses focus. Find your nearest Marano Eye Care location today.