At Eye Care Oklahoma, we understand the importance of children’s comprehensive eye exams. The AOA recommends a child’s first eye exam occur by 6 months of age, then at 3 years old and again before kindergarten.
When should I schedule my child’s exam?
Your family doctor or pediatrician likely will be the first medical professional to examine your child’s eyes. If eye problems are suspected during routine physical examinations, a referral might be made to an ophthalmologist or optometrist for further evaluation. When scheduling an eye exam, choose a time when your child is alert and content.
Besides looking for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism (refractive errors), your eye doctor will be examining your child’s eyes for signs of these eye and vision problems commonly found in young children:
Strabismus – misalignment of the eyes, often caused by a congenital defect in the positioning or strength of muscles that are attached to the eye and which control eye positioning and movement. If left untreated, strabismus can cause amblyopia in the misaligned eye. Depending on its cause and severity, surgery may be required to treat strabismus.
Amblyopia – commonly known as “lazy eye”; this is decreased vision in one or both eyes despite the absence of any eye health problems or damage. Common causes include strabismus and a significant different in the refractive errors of the two eyes. Treatment of amblyopia may include patching the dominant eye to strengthen the weaker eye.
Convergence insufficiency – the inability to keep the eye comfortably aligned for reading and other tasks that require close vision. Convergence insufficiency can often be successfully treated with vision therapy, with will have your child go through a specific program of eye exercises.
Focusing problems – Children with focusing problems (also called accommodation problems) may have trouble changing focus from distance to near and back again, or have problems maintaining adequate focus for reading (accommodative insufficiency). These problems can often be successfully treated with vision therapy.
Binocular problems – Many eye teaming (binocularity) problems are more subtle than strabismus. Deficiencies in eye teaming skills can cause problems with depth perception and coordination. To schedule your child’s exam, you can call our offices at 405.799.7510