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Back to School: It's Time for Your Child's Eye Exam

Pencils? Notebooks? Masks? Check. You’ve got your child mostly ready for school. While schools do require an updated health form, they don’t necessarily mandate an updated eye health form. However, an eye exam is important.

For your convenience, your child can get an eye screening with their pediatrician during their annual physical. However, you may see an eye specialist at any time, if you have concerns about your child’s eye health. 

During a comprehensive eye exam, the provider not only looks at your child’s vision and determines if they need glasses, but also looks at your child’s eye health. As with many health conditions, the earlier you catch eye issues, the more effectively you can treat them.

The caring and highly skilled ophthalmologists and optometrists at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists PC in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, share why it’s important to schedule a regular eye exam for your children. 

When should my child start seeing an eye doctor?

Your child’s first eye exam should take place before their first birthday. You may think that because they can’t read or make letters, it’s not important. Abnormalities, however, can be detected and treated early, so don’t delay.

After their first eye exam, you should have your child’s eyes checked at age 3 and then again before starting first grade. Depending on your child’s eye health, you should schedule an appointment every year or two. 

It’s especially important to keep up with regular eye exams if they have a sibling or parent with an eye issue such as strabismus, also called crossed-eye, or amblyopia, also called lazy eye. Your eye doctor advises you on the right schedule for your child.

Why are children’s eye exams so important?

Many vision problems or eye conditions aren’t apparent to the parent or child, and can only be detected during an eye exam. Undiagnosed vision problems can lead to problems in school, learning, and sports. Poor vision can also increase your child’s risk of injury. 

In some cases, vision problems, such as amblyopia or strabismus, that go untreated can lead to vision loss. Fortunately, both conditions respond well to treatment.

What should my child expect at their eye exam?

Vision problems are common among children. About one-third of children ages 6 to 17 wear glasses or contact lenses. At your child’s eye exam, they’re tested for common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, which would require corrective lenses for clear sight. 

Your child will also be tested for vision problems such as amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, and focusing on issues that may require vision therapy or surgery

Ready to schedule your child’s next eye exam? Call ABC Children’s Eye Specialists PC, with two offices in Phoenix and one in Mesa, Arizona, or request an appointment with one of our expert pediatric eye specialists. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.

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