When to Schedule Your Child’s First Eye Exam

Did you know 1 out of 4 children has an undetected vision problem? Many vision diseases and disorders tend to emerge between 18 months and four years old. Good vision is key to a child’s physical development, success in school, and overall well-being. Since vision is not fully formed in babies and young children, both eyes must work together to help the brain’s vision center to develop normally.

If a child’s eyes cannot send clear images to the brain, their vision may be limited in ways that cannot be corrected later. Some conditions, such as “lazy” eye or “crossed” eyes can be easily recognized, while others are hidden. As a parent, you need to be aware of the most common eye diseases and disorders in children. Early diagnosis and treatment through comprehensive pediatric eye examinations can reduce the impact of eye diseases on your child’s success.

So, when should your child have their first eye exam?

It is essential to check a children’s vision when they are a newborn, during infancy, and then again, when they enter school. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following timing and exams:

Newborn – Red Reflux Test

When your baby is first born, an ophthalmologist should examine their eyes and perform a red reflex test. This test will ensure that your child’s eyes are functioning normally, and it can also reveal if there are any issues in the cornea and lens. If your baby is premature, at high risk of medical problems, or has a family history of eye issues, the ophthalmologist may recommend a comprehensive eye exam.

Infant – Eye Screening

Between six months to one year, your child should have another eye screening. This test will help in assessing the general health of the eyes.

Preschooler – Visual Acuity Test

Between the ages of three and four, a child’s vision and eye alignment should be assessed. A visual acuity test can determine whether the child can normally focus at far, middle, and near distances. This vision screening can detect problems such as misaligned eyes, lazy eyes, or refractive errors. Detected early, these problems are easier to correct.

School Age – Comprehensive Eye Exam

When a child starts school, they should have a comprehensive eye exam. Nearsightedness is a common refractive error in this age group and can be corrected with eyeglasses.

At Vision Associates, our optometrists have the experience, skills, and knowledge to detect an underlying vision problem. We use advanced technologies to evaluate overall vision, ocular structures, and their respective functions.

A comprehensive eye exam will ensure your child has the best visual acuity and optimum ocular health for the best performance. To schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist call Vision Associates at 567-236-8161 (Toledo) or 419-354-3926 (Bowling Green) today.


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