Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination
Eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems.Early identification of a child’s vision problem can be crucial because children often are more responsive to treatment when problems are diagnosed early.
Early eye exams also are important because children need the following basic skills related to good eyesight for learning:
• Near vision
• Distance vision
• Binocular (two eyes) coordination
• Eye movement skills
• Focusing skills
• Peripheral awareness
• Hand-eye coordination
Common Eye Problems
Several eye conditions can affect kids. Most are detected by a vision screening using an acuity chart during the preschool years.
• Amblyopia (“lazy eye”) is poor vision in an eye that may appear to be normal. Two common causes are crossed eyes and a difference in the refractive error between the two eyes. If untreated, amblyopia can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye. (By then, the brain’s “programming” will ignore signals from that eye.) Amblyopia is best treated as early as possible, ideally before a child is 8 years old.
• Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes; they may turn in, out, up, or down. If the same eye is chronically misaligned, amblyopia may also develop in that eye. With early detection, vision can be restored by patching the properly aligned eye, which forces the misaligned one to work. Surgery or specially designed glasses also may help the eyes to align.
• Refractive errors mean that the shape of the eye doesn’t refract (bend) light properly, so images appear blurred. Refractive errors also can cause amblyopia. Nearsightedness is the most common refractive error in school-age children; others include farsightedness and astigmatism:
Other eye conditions need immediate attention, such asretinopathy of prematurity (a disease that affects the eyes of premature babies), retinoblastoma, infantile cataracts, congenital glaucoma,genetic or metabolic diseases of the eye may require kids to have eye exams at an early age and regular screenings.
Al leye deseases such as the need for glasses, strabismus, cataract, eye pressure, eyelid deformaties, tear duct obstruction, eye tumor and etc can be seen new borns.
Routine medical exams for kids’ vision include:
• Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician or family physician in the hospital nursery.
• High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an ophtalmologist
• The other exams at the first 6the and 18the month should be done as general eye examination by an ophtalmologist.
• In this period the parents should consult a doctor if they see strabismus, ptosis, frequent winks,rubbing the eyes .If there is an eye disorder in the family, the kid may be required to have eye exams at an early time. Regardless having normal vision the kids should have eye screenings till age 3.
• Eye Alignment which usually appears only on one eye can not be diagnosis and dont give any symptoms without examination . After age 5 and before school the examinations should continue regularly.