|Eye examinations for infants and children are extremely important, but parents are often unaware of when to make that first appointment.
Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, can cause permanent irreversible loss of vision if not diagnosed and treated at a young age. Strabismus, or crossed eye, is best corrected at an early age as well. One in four school age children has an undiagnosed vision problem that interferes with learning. Children may receive vision screenings, but these are not substitutes for a
comprehensive eye examination by a doctor of optometry.
A newborn's visual system is immature and change occurs rapidly during infancy and early childhood. Certain developmental milestones should be reached by 6 months of age and this is the recommended time for a child's first eye
examination. Sharpness of vision, eye muscle coordination, and eye health should be evaluated to ensure that continued good vision develops.
The American Optometric Association and Johnson and
Johnson Vision Care. Inc. recently launched an infant's
public health program to ensure that optometric eye and
vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness
care. Under this program, a comprehensive eye examination
within the first year of life will be provided as a no cost
public health service.
Dr. Kerry Beebe and Dr. Stephanie Parrish, optometrists with
Brainerd Eyecare Center are now providing these no cost
assessments. When you call to schedule your baby's
appointment, identify it as an InfantSEE assessment.
Age 3 is a time in development when lazy eye, eye muscle alignment, power abnormalities of the eye, and ocular health again should be assessed. New examination techniques and equipment allow a very comprehensive eye examination to be performed at this age. The younger a child is when certain eye problems are identified and treated, the better the chances are of a successful outcome.
First grade means new friends, new teachers, and the beginning
of a lifetime of learning. Up to date vaccinations, a physical by
a primary care physician, a visit to the dentist, and a comprehensive
eye exam should all be scheduled prior to that first day of school.
Eyes can change quickly and children may not complain of problems because they do not realize how they should be seeing. Help your child reach their full learning potential by making an eye examination part of their back to school ritual.