Eye and vision problems are common among young children. In fact, it’s probably higher than you think. About 7% of children under 18 have at least one eye or vision condition, and 3% are blind or visually impaired, meaning they have trouble seeing even with corrective lenses.
Early eye care, however, can keep those eye conditions from causing lasting damage that extends into adulthood.
The expert team of pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists PC has specialized experience diagnosing and treating eye and vision issues that could impact your children’s vision and eye health. Here, they share three reasons why you shouldn’t skip or postpone your child’s eye exams.
Vision screenings at school and your pediatrician’s office are not enough
Brief vision screenings at school and your pediatrician’s office during a health exam are no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. While those screenings can catch some vision problems such as myopia or astigmatism, they can’t detect eye diseases and many other eye conditions.
An eye doctor uses specific clinical tools and assessments during your child’s exam to detect specific vision problems and assess their eye health.
Vision problems can impact more than your child’s sight
According to the American Optometric Association, 25% of students have a significant vision problem. About 80% of learning relies on visual pathways.
Vision problems can impact learning, sports, and behavior. Unfortunately, research shows that only 10% of children ages 9 to 15 who need glasses actually wear them. Kids who can’t see the board, or ball, can suffer from poor academic performance and also suffer on the playing field.
Additionally, not seeing what’s going on clearly can lead to boredom and acting out in the classroom.
Untreated eye problems can cause lasting damage
Undiagnosed problems in children can lead to vision loss later on. For example, undiagnosed amblyopia (lazy eye), which is decreased vision in one eye, can lead to loss of vision in the weak eye. Glasses or contact lenses usually can’t effectively treat this condition.
Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment for lazy eye or other eye conditions, the damage to your child’s vision can be long-lasting. However, early treatment can usually correct issues.
You should schedule your child’s first eye exam at age 6 months or earlier if you suspect a problem. Are you ready to make your child’s comprehensive eye exam appointment? Call ABC Children’s Eye Specialists PC at their Phoenix or Mesa, Arizona, offices to schedule one today.