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Q&A With Our Optometrist’s On Children’s Vision

Q: We hear a lot about “seeing your eye doctor regularly.” In school aged children, ages 5 through 17, what does regularly mean?

A: School aged children, ages 5-17, should have their eyes checked regularly. If a child does not need corrective eyewear, regularly means every two years. Once children start to wear corrective lenses, they should be seen every year to check for changes. Of course, if children are squinting, have pink eyes, watery eyes, eyes that turn in or out, or you suspect any medical condition, they should be seen right away.

Q: What about pre-schoolers? Are there signs parents should look for that would indicate a trip the optometrist is necessary?

A: Parents should look for certain additional signs in pre-scholars as a need to see the optometrist. If a child covers one eye, bumps into things, sits very close to the television, or rubs their eyes, they need to be seen. Certainly, if you suspect anything is out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment for your child.

Q: Because many children may be too young to read, how is an eye exam conducted if they cannot read a Snelling Chart?

A: We use special “fun” techniques for examining children that do not require their ability to read the eyechart. In fact, we can determine much about your child’s eyes without the child having to communicate at all. Our charts all have pictures on them. We make the examination relaxed and enjoyable for children.

Q: One of the greatest tasks of a school-aged child is learning to read and in older children, the amount of reading required. What should parents be on the lookout for concerning their child’s reading and potential vision problems?

A: If your child is a grade behind in reading level, covers an eye when reading, holds material very close when reading, or turns his or her head to one side, you should schedule an appointment for your child.

Q: We often discuss vision problems as they relate to sitting in a classroom, but what about the playground or vision acuity’s effect on socialization and play?

A: Children who have blurry vision tend to be shy and avoid activities which require hand-eye coordination. This could be ball games or video games.

Q: Today it seems that many children are very quickly diagnosed as learning disabled or dyslexic. How does vision play into the problems and what are the differences?

A: Any child diagnosed with a learning disability should have their eyes examined. It is important to have as clear an image as possible while undergoing any type of therapy. Although we do not do visual therapy in this office, we can evaluate the visual system and recommend a therapist if necessary.

Q: We have many choices today to correct our vision. What do you recommend as the earliest age for contact lenses?

A: Many children begin to wear contact lenses at the age of twelve. Yet, many start earlier or later. This is an individual discussion we have with parents to decide what is best for their child.

Q: Kids can be hard on glasses. Are there effective glasses for children today that last?

A: Children are definitely rough on glasses so we take extra precautions. All lenses in children’s glasses are impact resistant to protect their eyes. In addition, frames and lenses have a one year replacement warranty from the date of purchase.