It’s difficult to know if or when your child needs to see an eye care provider. But most experts agree that eye exams performed during regular well-child visits – help protect your child’s vision and provide useful information about his or her eye health.Children’s eye health begins in the newborn nursery and should continue throughout childhood, says Michael Repka, MD, professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “For many children, an evaluation by a pediatrician may be enough. But if a child has a family history of vision or eye problems or has symptoms, he or she may need to have an official eye exam,” he says. Most states require children to have an eye exam prior to beginning public school. Even if your pediatrician doesn’t see a problem, there may be other signs that your child needs a more thorough eye exam. According to the Optometrists Network, the symptoms of possible vision problems in children include:
An ophthalmologist is a who provides eye care, such as complete eye exams, and
An optometrist is a health care professional who can provide diagnose common eye disorders, and treat selected eye diseases. or
An optician assembles, fits, sells, and fills prescriptions for eyeglasses.
Your child’s health care provider may also ask you the following questions:
Repka recommends that parents find an eye care professional who has experience treating children and who is familiar with children’s eye diseases.During the preschool years, many vision problems can be detected during a routine vision screening. Your child’s health care provider will use an acuity chart during this exam. Common eye problems in children may include: