Your Child’s Eyes Matter
Our lifelong vision skills begin at birth. From the moment we enter the world, our eyes start to engage with our new environment. As our children grow, so do their eyes, linking eye health to overall well-being.
Children’s eyes develop in the early years and continue growing and changing until age 19–21. Routine eye exams can support a healthy and studious youth by detecting early signs of common conditions, like nearsightedness, lazy eye, or other refractive errors that require prescription glasses.
Healthy Vision, Improved Learning
Determining if your child needs support with their vision can help mitigate struggles at school. If eye issues are left untreated, they may have trouble developing social skills, keeping up in class, or staying safe on the playground.
Here are some signs that your child may be experiencing learning-related vision problems:
- Excessive blinking or eye-rubbing
- Closing or covering one eye to read
- Placing reading or writing material very close to eyes
- Short attention span during visual tasks
- Headaches or eye strain
Help your children enjoy their developing years—see us for a children’s eye exam today.
Common Eye Health Issues Among Children
Children are at risk for vision problems because of the fragile development process in which the eyeball can become too long, too short, or distorted. Your best defense to combat these conditions are regular checkups with your optometrist. Make sure your child’s eyesight is on track for their well-being (and yours).
When someone has myopia, or nearsightedness, it means the eyeball is too long or the cornea is uneven or curved too steeply. Light entering the eye cannot refract properly on the retina, causing blurred vision on distant objects.
Other Refractive Errors
Children are at risk of other refractive errors, causing blurry vision and visual impairment. Light rays aren’t able to reflect properly into misshapen eyes, causing refraction errors.
Hyperopia (farsightedness) is the opposite of its sibling, myopia. This vision condition occurs when the eyeball is too short and the cornea’s curvature is insufficient. Your child will be able to see far objects clearly, but near objects will be out of focus.
Another refractive error occurs with astigmatism, where the cornea or the lens has more of an oval or football shape. This makes it hard to focus on objects, near or far.
Strabismus (Turned Eye, Wandering Eye, Crossed Eyes)
Since the brain controls these muscles, strabismus should be treated as early as possible in case other issues are at play. Your child may be prescribed glasses, eye exercises, or in some cases, surgery.
Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
Not to be confused with strabismus, amblyopia results from an abnormal connection between the brain and one eye, often developing in babies and young children. If left untreated, this condition could lead to prolonged vision issues.
Keep an Eye on Symptoms
Impaired vision can impact your child’s quality of life. If you notice any of the following symptoms, we recommend visiting us to diagnose a potential visual problem.
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Excessive squinting
- Moves closer to television, whiteboard, etc.
- Holds reading material close to face
- Complains of blurred vision
- Complains of tired eyes
- Poor reading comprehension
- Closes or covers one eye
- Short attention span
- Skips lines when reading
- Difficulty recognizing letters, words, simple shapes
- Trouble learning left and right
- Can respond orally but not in writing
- Has headaches or eye strain
- Failure to maintain eye contact
- Poor eye tracking skills
How Often Should Your Child Have an Eye Exam?
Don’t wait until you notice signs of these common visual problems. We’d love to meet your little ones and guide them through a comprehensive eye exam, to make sure they’re on track with their vision health.
We’d love to see your child for an eye exam following the guidelines listed by the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO).
- 6–9 months old: baby’s first eye exam
- 2–5 years old: at least 1 eye exam during this period
- 6–19 years old: annual eye exam
Of course, if your child shows symptoms of any eye conditions, the frequency of visits may increase. We’ll find what works best for you and your family.
What to Expect During a Children’s Eye Exam
Our patients’ comfort is our priority, and this is especially true for your children. We’ll engage with them during their appointment and guide them through our non-invasive and comprehensive eye exam.
You can expect us to go through the following steps during your child’s appointment:
- Discuss your child’s medical history, including any vision concerns, prenatal conditions, or past illnesses. We’ll ask about your family history, too, as some eye conditions are hereditary.
- Assess your child’s visual acuity (how sharp the vision is) using an eye chart or pictures and symbols, depending on their age.
- Test eye movement and coordination using goggles or a digital camera that can record eye movement.
- Evaluate the inside of your child’s eye using non-invasive technology to check for any refractive errors.
- Talk about the results with you and your child, and recommend further testing if it’s required.
During your child’s eye exam, please feel free to ask for explanations along the way. We want you to feel comfortable and confident throughout your child’s journey to better eye health.
Protect Your Child’s Vision Health
Early detection of visual conditions is key to your child’s well-being. See us at Visus Eyewear + Eyecare to meet our caring optometrists so we can make sure your child’s vision is optimal.
Stop by our office on Upper James Street just north of Rymal Road E. We’re right off the LINC for convenient access from all over the Greater Hamilton area.