Schools and pediatricians do routine vision screenings, and if either suspect there could be an issue, your child will be referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist, such as the team at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists in Phoenix and Mesa, AZ.
If, during an eye exam with an optometrist, the doctor finds anything troubling, you may be advised to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. Both specialists have extensive training in eye health, but ophthalmologists can treat significant eye health issues. At ABC Children’s Eye Specialists, we have both optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Why should your child see an eye specialist?
You may think that it’s not important for your child to have their eyes checked even before they can read, but eye exams can detect issues that, if not addressed early on, can affect your child’s vision for life. And sometimes a child who has been diagnosed with a learning issue such as ADHD or dyslexia actually has a vision problem.
Eye health and clear vision are important for your child to succeed and to learn in school as well as participate in sports and other after-school activities.
Eye exams should not be a one-and-done type of appointment. Have your child’s eyes checked at 3 years old and again before entering school. Your child’s eye health and vision needs dictate how often you should see an eye doctor after that.
What to expect at your child’s eye exam
Come prepared for your child’s eye exam with questions and information about your child’s eye habits and history. Do they rub their eyes? Squint? Fail to make eye contact? Have a history of any surgeries or developmental issues?
At the exam, we test for refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If diagnosed with one of these refractive errors, your child is fitted with glasses or contacts.
Often a parent is not aware of any vision issues or eye problems. Many conditions can only be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam.
We observe your child’s eye movements and may also use tools such as a light and eye chart. For older children, we may use eyedrops to dilate the eye in order to see the back of the eye and diagnose any pathological disease.
We also test for these common pediatric eye issues:
Lazy eye, also called amblyopia, is when one eye is weaker than the other. If this condition is not diagnosed early, it can lead to more serious problems as the child relies on the other eye.
Crossed or misaligned eyes
This condition, called strabismus, is often connected to amblyopia. It’s crucial that these conditions be diagnosed early on so that your child’s vision can develop normally.
Convergence insufficiency is when your child experiences blurred or double vision when looking at objects at close range. This condition can interfere with reading and other school tasks.
Is it time for you to schedule an eye exam for your child? Call us at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists, PC, for an appointment today.