Like many of you reading this, I have children; three boys to be exact. I want each one to excel in their daily activities. These include school, baseball, soccer, reading, and those darn video games, all of which have different visual requirements. When it comes to sight, my wife has perfect vision but I’m extremely nearsighted and that can run in the family. All you have to do is look at my middle child. He is the lucky one that got “Dad’s Eyes”. However, my boys know that each year I will bring them into the office for a complete eye exam. There are plenty of reasons why all kids should get an eye exam. Just like their yearly well visit to the pediatrician, kids need their eyes examined too.
Vision problems can range from needing glasses to an eye turn, known as strabismus. Pediatricians and school nurses perform visual screenings annually and if a problem is suspected, they may recommend a complete exam for further evaluation, where the need for glasses can easily be determined. A complete eye exam will also determine if strabismus is present.
No parent wants their child to fall behind in school for a visual issue that can easily be treated. Children needing vision correction may start wearing glasses at a very young age and if the child is old enough or mature enough to handle the responsibility, then contact lenses can even be an option. I have many of school-aged patients that wear contact lenses because they are more convenient to use than glasses while playing sports.
Sometimes children don’t think they have a problem seeing, but if you notice your child squinting, sitting close to the TV, holding books close, complaining they can’t see the chalkboard, or their eye is drifting, then a complete examination is warranted. Usually, the sooner a problem is corrected the better the visual prognosis.
Author: Theodore Hallberg, OD