Your children see the world through their eyes. For young children, the vision center of the brain is not fully developed until age 7, making vision screening tests vital starting at a young age. If your children cannot send clear images to their brain, it can have an impact on a variety of vision and mental health problems later in life. In addition to being American Heart Month, February is also AMD/Low Vision Awareness month, making it a perfect time to discuss the importance of Vision Screening for your children.
Vision Screening and Eye Exams:
The majority of eye-related diseases don’t appear until later in life. However, getting regular vision screening tests can help keep your family’s eyes healthy. Keep in mind that eye exams and vision screening are not the same. Screenings are typically the precautionary step before an eye exam. Whereas Vision screenings are a visual acuity test in which patients are asked to identify letters on a vision chart from largest to smallest.
These vision screenings are designed to detect any discrepancies in your child’s eyesight. After, your child will have a regular eye exam; where a doctor can check the health of their eyes, including checking for early signs of any serious eye problems.
When should vision screening be done?
When your children are young, try to get in the habit of regularly checking their children’s vision. As a newborn or infant, an ophthalmologist will complete a comprehensive exam to test for any premature or high-risk eye problems. Once your child begins preschool, or around the age of 3, your Pediatric Care Group pediatrician will assess how often a vision screening is needed. Once your children reach school age, an annual screening should be completed, or whenever a problem is detected.
Signs of Struggles:
If your children are showing any signs or symptoms of struggling with their sight, schedule a vision screening test as soon as possible. Once you receive results, then decide if an eye exam is the logical next step. Consult your Pediatric Care Group pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Signs of Struggles with Vision, Include:
- Headaches or sensitivity to light
- Struggling with academics
- Losing place while reading
- Constantly rubbing or complaining of eyes
- Clumsiness or poor hand-eye coordination
- The distance at which they hold reading material
- Tilting or turning head to read
- Using one eye more frequently than the other
Vision is one of the most important developmental tools your children have. February is dedicated to eye awareness and making sure your children are up-to-date with their visual screenings. Make sure that you are consulting with your Pediatric Care Group pediatrician about when proper eye exams and visions screenings are needed.