Why Early Eye Exams* Are So Important for Children
Good vision is essential to your child’s development as it is critical for learning in the classroom, participating in sports, and interacting with others. Fortunately, the Pediatric Optometrists of Nationwide Optometry specialize in the detection and management of pediatric eye conditions, so you can feel confident any problems will be remedied early – preventing major issues later in life.
Early Eye Development
Children learn to see through experience, much like they learn to walk and talk. Amblyopia, otherwise known as “lazy eye”, is the most common cause of preventable blindness in children. Vision loss usually occurs in one eye, although it can in rarer forms affect both eyes. This type of “blindness” results from a failure to use both eyes together. It can be caused by the presence of strabismus (crossed eyes), unequal refractive error (farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism), or a physical obstruction of vision (cataract) present at birth.
If there is a large enough difference in the degree of farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism between the two eyes or if they are crossed, the brain learns to ignore the image from the amblyopic eye in favor of the other. Unfortunately, because there are often no obvious signs that a young child is favoring only one eye it commonly goes undetected until later in life.
When caught early amblyopia “lazy eye” is treatable. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Optometric Association encourage early eye exams. Parents are encouraged to have their infant’s first eye exam prior to age 2.
Other Services Specifically For Children
- Routine children’s eye exams*
- Glasses and contact lens fittings
- Amblyopia or “lazy eye” evaluation and treatment
- Blurred vision caused by nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
- Strabismus (crossed eyes or wandering eyes)
- Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement)
- Infections or inflammations of the eye
- Ptosis (droopy eyelids)
- Various congenital ocular abnormalities
- Evaluations for learning and reading issues
- Evaluations for eye problems associated with genetic syndromes.
- Eye screening for systemic conditions like juvenile arthritis, diabetes, neurofibromatosis and others.
- Coordinated eye care with various other specialists.
Learn More About our Complete Pediatric Eye Care Services
Nationwide Vision provides a full range of pediatric eye care services* for infants, toddlers, school-age children, and those with special needs. To learn more about our pediatric eye care services, download our pediatric brochure below.