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Frequently Asked Questions About Your Child’s Vision

Vision plays a vital role throughout childhood. Most parents understand that proper vision care helps their children develop into healthy, happy adults. However, there are a few questions that are frequently asked by parents about their child’s vision. Here are the answers those frequently asked questions that every parent should know! When should you start scheduling your child’s eye exams?

Parents should keep some dates in mind when scheduling their child’s eye appointments:

  • Infants should have their first eye exams at 6 months, as per the American Optometric Association recommendation

  • Children with no known vision issues should have another exam at 3 years and then prior to entering kindergarten

  • Children who use vision correction should have an annual eye exam

Schedule an eye exam immediately if your child is experiencing difficulty in school that may be due to a vision problem

What's the difference between a school vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?

School vision screens are a basic vision screening test to assess if your child can see clearly at a distance. However, these tests are limited in scope. They do not assess functional vision such as:

  • The ability to focus

  • If your child’s eyes can track words on a page

  • The eyes’ ability to work in tandem.

Eye health Studies show that up to 43% of children with vision problems can pass a vision screening test.

Comprehensive eye exams are critical to understanding how healthy your child’s eyes are and how well they are functioning. A comprehensive eye exam will assess all of these functions as well as:

  • Color vision

  • Depth perception

  • Eye coordination.

When can your child start wearing contact lenses?

Contact lenses are a great resource, especially for children that are active! However, don’t forget that contact lenses are a medical device that must be treated properly. Contacts require:

  • Washing and drying your hands completely before touching your contact lenses.

  • Removing your contact lenses when swimming, bathing, or showering.

  • Taking your contact lenses out before sleeping.

  • Following your brand’s replacement schedule, whether that be monthly or daily.

Most optometrists agree that 10-12 years old is the appropriate age to consider switching your child to contact lenses. If your child is not responsible enough to take care of their contact lenses, then they could end up with a serious eye infection. Consider your child’s maturity and cleanliness before consulting with your eye doctor. My child was diagnosed with strabismus and amblyopia. Can this be treated?

Amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed-eyes) are possible to correct when your child is diagnosed and treated early at a young age. If these conditions are diagnosed before 8-10 years old, a complete correction is very possible. Keep in mind these two points:

  • Depending on the severity of the strabismus, surgery may be required to straighten and properly align the crossed eyes.

  • Amblyopia can then be treated using eyeglasses or eye patching. Vision therapy can help strengthen the weak eye and train both eyes to work together.

Schedule an appointment with an optometrist to assess the condition and discuss the treatment options best for your child. What is vision therapy?

Vision therapy is a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain. It is a doctor-supervised program of exercises that are individualized to your child’s unique vision issue. These exercises strengthen the function of the eye and are used to correct many common vision problems. This includes:

  • Amblyopia

  • Strabismus

  • Double Vision

  • Eye Alignment

  • Focusing and Coordination Issues

Vision therapy often takes about 6 months to see lasting improvement. Most vision therapy treatment programs are prescribed and monitored by an optometrist. What if I have more questions?

For a thorough analysis and explanation of your child’s vision contact Eden Prairie Eye Care today! Dr. Oker and her team will perform a comprehensive eye exam, which includes ensuring that you don’t leave our office with any unanswered questions! Make sure your child's eyes are functioning properly during their early formative years! Schedule your appointment today by calling (952) 944-2792 by filling out our online form. We can’t wait to help your child see better.


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