Eye health is truly a lifelong journey, and it’s crucial that your child has any vision problems detected early before they cause problems with school, sports, and other activities. The team of experienced pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, is experienced in performing eye exams for children of all ages and treating vision problems that commonly affect children. Don’t delay your child’s first visit to the eye doctor. Schedule an eye exam for your child online or over the phone.
The two main types of eye doctors are optometrists and ophthalmologists. The difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist is similar to the difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon.
Both optometrists and ophthalmologists have to undergo extensive training and are qualified to examine the eyes for vision and health problems. Both can diagnose refractive errors, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism, and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses.
An ophthalmologist is uniquely qualified to provide advanced care for eye conditions, including medication and surgery. That means if your child’s optometrist discovers an eye health problem, the next step likely includes a referral to an ophthalmologist. For your convenience, ABC Children’s Eye Specialists has both optometrists and ophthalmologists on staff.
Vision problems are common among children. An eye exam is the only way to confirm and treat these problems effectively.
Children with untreated vision problems can experience significant problems in school and other areas of life. In fact, many children receive a diagnosis of ADHD, learning disabilities, and behavioral issues, when they actually have untreated vision problems.
School vision screenings don’t detect the same problems that a comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist does.
You should pay close attention to your child’s eye health well before they enter school. Your child’s first eye exam should take place at six months of age to ensure normal vision development. Your child should also have eye exams at age three and right before starting school.
Your ABC Children’s Eye Specialists optometrist tests for refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, which require glasses. They may also dilate your child’s eyes to see the back of the eyes to diagnose any pathological disease. A dilation takes between 30-60 minutes depending on how fast the eye drops take effect.
A pediatric eye exam also includes tests for vision problems that are especially common among children and may require treatment from an ophthalmologist, including:
Lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, is when one of your child’s eyes focuses better than the other. When left untreated, this can lead to your child relying more heavily on the “good” eye, leading to permanent vision problems.
Strabismus, also known as being “cross-eyed,” is when the eyes aren’t properly aligned and point in different directions.
In convergence insufficiency, your child experiences doubled or blurred vision when looking at things up close. This leads to difficulties with reading, so a misdiagnosis of a learning disorder often occurs.
Your child’s optometrist evaluates your child’s ability to focus on objects, to switch between near and distance vision, and for issues with depth perception and color blindness.
Eye exams at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists are comprehensive and designed to detect a full range of vision and eye health problems. The practice is equipped to help your child with whatever they need to see clearly, whether it’s as simple as a pair of glasses or more complex corrective treatments such as vision therapy and surgery.
Schedule an eye exam for your child at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists online or over the phone today.