When should your child have their first eye exam?

Father and his daughter are checking the eye vision in ophthalmology clinic. You no doubt schedule pediatrician appointments for your child’s annual checkup and their needed vaccinations – but have you thought about when you should take your child for their first trip to the eye doctor? True, it is just one more thing to add to the very long to-do list you probably already have. But eye exams for children are very important.

Their first exam

Many eye care professionals recommend that children should have their first eye exam by the time they turn 1. This may seem young, but this first exam gives the doctor the chance to check for eye problems that are just beginning to develop and can affect children throughout their lives. Some of these problems can be reversed if they are diagnosed and treated early enough. Getting your child’s eyes checked early is especially important if you have a family history of eye problems, such as lazy eye or crossed eyes. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t know how to read – or even talk – yet. Eye doctors can still diagnose problems in these children, with many different types of tests and equipment.

Exams for older children

As your child gets older, they should see their eye doctor about every 2 years if they don’t have any problems. If they wear glasses or contacts, they should have an annual exam. And of course, you should schedule an appointment right away if something doesn’t seem right about your child’s eyes or vision. Some children may not even realize they aren’t seeing properly – often, a child’s vision problems don’t become obvious until they start school, when parents and teachers start to notice problems with reading or seeing to the front of the class or when the child suddenly starts getting headaches. Many of the common problems children have with their eyes can be corrected easily, such as with an eye patch or corrective lenses.

If your child has never had an eye exam, is overdue for one, is complaining about problems with their eyes or vision, or if something just doesn’t seem right to you, don’t wait. Call Southside Eye Care today! Call (757) 484-0101 for an appointment today!


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