Importance of Eye Check up for Small Children

First Eye Examination of Child

Infants must have an eye examination during their first 12 months of life. Choose a time when he or she is usually alert and happy.

Preparing Child for the First Checkup

It is advisable to demonstrate & explain to the child what will happen during a vision check-up. This will help to reduce any anxiety your small child might be experiencing. It also helps to learn about your child's specific fears and concerns so that you can take corrective measures ahead of time.

  • Act out some of the procedure to guess the worries that your child might not be able to articulate.

  • Reassure your child that you will be there with him or her during the entire procedure.

  • Make your child realize that the check-up is not a punishment but rather a way to guarantee the healthiest vision possible.

  • Respect the wishes of an older child who might not want you to be present during the procedure. Privacy is important to adolescents and should be protected.

  • Inform your eye doctor if you have a family history of eye problems requiring vision correction, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness (refractive errors), lazy eye (squint/weak eye), or eye diseases.

Psychological Problems with Undiagnosed Vision Problems

Children who have undiagnosed vision problems can suffer from low self-esteem. They can become frustrated more easily, have trouble concentrating on reading, feel stupid, experience frequent headaches, or rub their eyes until they smart. Once their vision is corrected, children with eyeglasses hold their heads high and exude confidence---if their parents are positive and supportive.

Making Child comfortable with Spectacles

  • The child needs to have a nice feeling after wearing specs. Thin, lightweight plastic and photochromic lenses, and so many neat frames, can make your child feel enthusiastic about wearing glasses to emulate older kids or express an individual sense of style.

  • Photochromic lenses, which change from light to dark when ultraviolet light is present, provide 100% protection from harmful UV rays and glare. This makes child enthusiastic to wear glasses. Children like to wear glasses that darken in the sun.

  • Make certain that your child feels a part of the frame selection process. Nothing is more important in terms of getting children to wear their glasses and take better care of them as well.

Protecting Children’s eyes from sun

About 80 percent of a person's lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18.

Photochromic lenses, which change from light to dark when ultraviolet light is present, have an eye health advantage by providing 100% protection from harmful UV rays and glare. And they do it automatically, which eliminates the need for kids to keep track of two pairs of glasses : - regular glasses and sunglasses.

Common Eye Problems in Children

Eye tests and general examinations often are conducted to detect the possible presence of these types of eye problems commonly found in young children:

Decreased vision your Childs’s eye may have some vision problem. The child should be examined to provide the best possible vision with glasses.

Lazy eye (amblyopia)

Your child's eyes should be examined for early detection of vision problems such as lazy eye or amblyopia, in which one eye is weaker than the other. With amblyopia, eye patching often is used to help strengthen the weaker eye.

Unfortunately, amblyopia is not always correctable with eyeglasses or contact lenses and may require eye patching to strengthen the weaker eye
Misalignment of eyes (strabismus) - Crossed or misaligned eyes can have different causes:

  • Problems with muscle control in the affected eye or eyes. If strabismus persists in young children, a condition known as lazy eye or amblyopiacan develop along with related vision problems

  • Inability to maintain alignment of both eyes for correct focus as distant objects move nearer (convergence insufficiency

Focusing (accommodation), color vision, and/or depth perception problems

The eye doctor may also test your child's focusing ability. The child's depth perception or ability to gauge distances between objects may also be examined. Color vision may be tested through methods such as placing a dot pattern of symbols within a pattern of dots made up of other colors.

General eye and eyelid health

To assess a child's general eye health, the eye doctor will examine his or her eyelids and lid margins, looking for shape irregularity and discharge on the lashes or lid margins. The eye doctor may turn the lower lids inside out (Evert) to look for abnormal or infected eyelash follicles, bumps (papillae), discharge, and swelling . Your eye doctor may examine the cornea,iris& lens to look for cloudiness (opacities) or other irregularities.

Signs of Vision Problems in a child

  • Frequent squinting

  • Cloudy cornea

  • Unequal pupil size

  • Extreme sensitivity to light

  • Eyes that don't move together

  • Crossed eyes

  • Eyes that jiggle

  • Difficulty seeing far objects

  • Drooping eyelids

  • Eyes that itch or burn

  • Dizziness

  • Frequent headaches

  • Looking off to the side

  • Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close

  • Squinting

  • Tilting the head to see better

  • Frequent eye rubbing

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Excessive tearing

  • Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better

  • Avoiding activities that require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities

  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes

  • Receiving lower grades than usual

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