VISION SCREENING AND COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMINATION IN CHILDREN
Children are not exactly born with perfect vision as some eye structures are still developing after birth, over a period they learn to see better, at least between 6 months to 36 months of age the milestone of eye development is completed.
It is very important to know what a child is exposed to seeing and as well to watch your child’s vision progress as some eye conditions that can be treated at this critical stage are not easily noticed.
WHAT IS VISION SCREENING?
Vision screening is a quick test that detects whether a person can see well at far or near, although a proper diagnosis can’t be made after this until a comprehensive eye test is done.
WHAT IS A COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMINATION?
A comprehensive eye examination is performed in a standard environment and with the right equipment, a diagnosis can be made for the specific eye condition the child has.
Vision problems can affect a child’s development, performance in school, self-confidence, and social interactions. As mentioned earlier, these problems are not easy to notice at this stage until they are adults and by then little to nothing can be done to cure them. Early recognition of these vision problems is very important in children, so it is easy to start treatment or management.
SIGNS YOUR CHILDREN SHOW THAT INDICATE THEY NEED TO VISIT THE CLINIC
- When your baby (3 months and above) can’t follow a moving object with the eyes.
- Your baby (4 months and above) has a misaligned or crossed eye.
- Excessive itching of the eyes.
- Eye color is yellow, blue, or red.
- Tears coming out of the eyes when they are not crying
- Over-sensitivity to any type of light.
- Rapid involuntary eye movements (side to side or up-down).
- The middle of the eye has a whitish color
- Refusal to engage in take-home assignments
- Tilting their head to read or see
- Short attention span
- Difficulty reading
Eye conditions like Amblyopia don’t give any signs at all and if not managed at the early stage, eyeglasses or any treatment can’t improve vision when the child is grown, this is why consistent eye examination is important.
At what age(s) is it appropriate to take your child for a comprehensive eye examination?
- 6months-12months old
- 12months-36months old
- 3yrs - 5years old
- From 5 years and above, one comprehensive eye exam, a year is the standard.
IT’S YOUR CHILD’S FIRST EYE EXAM EVER! WHAT DO YOU DO?
As a parent, make sure to be watchful of little signs that your children show because the eye doctor will need every information about your child’s eye from pregnancy to childbirth and to their present age, to know the best approach to a solution.
Your eye doctor will also need information about your family’s medical and eye health history because most eye conditions found in children are genetic and hereditary. If your child already wears glasses or has taken any eye medication, bring them along with you as they are needed to check the progress of the condition your child has.
So what’s the difference between vision screening and a comprehensive eye examination? Which of them does your child need?
I’m sure this is what you might be curious about. Well, both are very good for your kids. A proper example of a Vision Screening is when an NGO or any organization visits your child’s school and does some free medical tests of which an eye test is among. Your child is asked to cover each eye to read a chart, medications are given for some obvious eye diseases. While all of these are good, they don’t tell the whole story! A proper diagnosis can’t be made and that is why they are often advised to go to the eye clinic for a full examination, which is a comprehensive eye exam.
With everything that has been explained in this blog post, it is sure that by now you know what to do. A proper eye examination for all your children at least once a year shows that you love them and care for their eye health. This act in turn builds their confidence and knowledge about their body and their eyes. Do not hesitate to make it a family ritual or routine.