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The Eyes Have It

Almost in the blink of an eye, summer concludes and the school begins each year. Being able to clearly see blackboards, books and computer screens may be something we take for granted. Keeping your children's eyes (and yours) healthy is an important part of their day-to-day lives.

Regular eye exams ensure your kids’ eyes are healthy and have no vision problems that might interfere with their school performance and potentially even their safety.

Their first comprehensive eye exam should come as early as six months of age, according to vision experts. Their second eye exam should be around age 3, followed by another exam at age 5 or 6 – right before they go into first grade. School age kids should have exams at least every two years if no vision correction is required, or annually should glasses be needed.

Traditional eye exams consist of a case history, vision testing, determination of whether eyeglasses are needed, testing of eye alignment and an eye health evaluation. Case history may ask about complications during pregnancy or delivery, and your child’s medical history including medications or allergies.

Be sure to tell the doctor if your kids have had, or display any of the following:
  • Premature birth

  • Delayed motor development

  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking

  • Failure to maintain eye contact

  • Poor eye tracking skills

  • Failed a vision test at school in the past or at your pediatrician visit

  • Previous eye problems, treatments or surgeries

  • Family history of eye diseases

Vision testing at an early age is critical. It ensures your kids have the visual skills they need to do well in school. Kids who can’t see print or view a blackboard well can become easily frustrated, leading to poor academic performance. Some vision problems, such as lazy eye are best treated and corrected while a child’s eyes are still developing. So, it’s important to start eye exams early.

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