As Kids Enter School, Eye Exams Become More Important
The school season has started for many youngsters, and for others, it’s right around the corner. If you have a preschooler on your hands, one of the things on your to-do list should be taking them in for a pediatric eye exam. Many people do not realize this, but children’s vision problems are fairly common. Some experts estimate that up to 10 percent of all preschool-aged children and 25 percent of all school-aged children experience some type of vision issue. Unfortunately, many of these vision problems hinder a child’s ability to learn.
This is why it is so important that you bring your preschooler in for a pediatric eye exam. Although school vision screenings can detect some issues, other signs and symptoms are missed. At First Eye Care DFW, we believe in doing everything possible to help you and your family address any potential vision problems. For young children like preschoolers, the sooner you have your child’s eyes assessed, the better. Not only will a pediatric eye exam help you understand your preschooler’s vision health, but it will establish the importance of visiting the eye doctor.
Common Signs of Vision Problems in Preschoolers
With 10 percent of preschoolers facing eye or vision problems, it is helpful for parents to educate themselves about the most common signs of a potential issue. Here are the top signs parents should watch for:
- Holding a book too close or sitting directly in front of the TV
- Frequent squinting
- Tilting of the head when reading
- Covering one eye when reading or watching TV
- Short attention span
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty with eye-hand coordination
- Avoiding certain activities, such as puzzles and coloring
What to Expect During a Pediatric Eye Exam
When your child is between the ages of 3-5, they require an eye exam other than the school’s vision screening. Our pediatric exams aim to ensure your child’s vision is developing properly. They also make sure there are no signs of disease or any other possible issues. If there is a problem, your optometrist will discuss treatment options with you, which may include vision therapy or prescription eyeglasses.
Some of the tests performed during a pediatric eye exam for preschoolers include:
- LEA symbols – This test uses special symbols (including an apple, house, square, circle, and triangle) in place of letters for young children. Because many preschoolers are not familiar with the alphabet, this test allows us to evaluate their vision more accurately.
- Retinoscopy – This test will help us determine if your child has any issues with their lens, such as clouding or another refractive error.
- Random dot stereopsis – Utilizing patterns of dots and 3D glasses, this test will measure how your child’s eyes work separately and together.
If you didn’t realize your preschooler should have an in-person eye exam, you’re not alone. To learn more about what to expect or for tips on how to help with your child’s vision development, please contact First Eye Care DFW today and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly Dallas optometrists.