As a caretaker of a child, you already know how quickly things can change as they grow. The same is true of their vision. Children can experience changes in their eyesight that need regular monitoring. At Austin Vision Center in Austin, Texas, we have optometrists who can work with the youngest of children to test their eyesight and offer vision correction options, if needed.
Over time, we've had caretakers ask us about our pediatric eye care services. Here are some of those questions and our answers.
When Should I Start Bringing My Child for Eye Exams?
Believe it or not, your child's first eye exam should occur as a newborn. Typically, this will happen during one of the newborn wellness visits and is done by your pediatrician.
The next exam occurs between six months and a year of age. Again, your pediatrician may perform this test. Depending on the findings, or your child's risk factors, you may be given a recommendation to visit an optometrist.
Your child's first visit to an optometrist happens as a toddler, between three and three and a half years of age. At this time, before your child starts school, an optometrist needs to see how well your child can process visual information. This age is also when an eye doctor will look for problems with eye alignment, such as lazy eye or misaligned eyes.
The next time your child should come for an exam is when he enters school or if you notice he has trouble seeing. If your child has a progressive condition, he may need more frequent exams based on the optometrist's suggestion.
How Can You Test Children's Eyesight Before They Can Read?
When testing a toddler's vision, an eye doctor may use an eye chart that has the letter E pointing in different directions. Your child will have to say which way the letter points. Some doctors may use pictures for your child to identify instead.
These types of tests work for cooperative children, but another option, photoscreening, allows an eye doctor to examine how well a child can see even if he does not want to cooperate or knows how to read.
Visual acuity tests such as these are only one part of an eye care exam. Optometrists also conduct tests to check for eye health.
My Child Has Never Had an Eye Test. Is It Too Late to Start?
It's never too late to start caring for your child's eyes. If your child shows signs of eyesight problems such as headaches, academic problems, squinting, taking longer to do reading or writing work, or eye pain, make an appointment for a comprehensive vision test and eye exam.
Make an Appointment One of Our Pediatric Eye Care Specialists
Our team at Austin Vision Center wants to help you maintain your child's eye health. Call us at (512) 477-2282 to set an appointment for your child. We cannot wait to see you and your child.