As a parent it is your responsibility to make sure that your child sees an eye doctor on a regular basis. Many parents are not sure when to take their child to an eye doctor. When your child is born their eyes are tested as part of the routine tests that are performed at birth. After that the doctor will take another look at the age of 6 weeks. After that test it is now your job to remember to take your child to an eye doctor when they are around 3 years old and again when they are about 5 or 6. This is very important – about 25% of all children suffer eye problems.
The good thing is that if most of this problems are caught early they can easily be corrected. One particularly common problem that can be dealt with is a lazy eye. Although many people assume that it is caused by an eye turning inwards it occurs for an entirely different reason. Often, children have different prescriptions in their eyes when it comes to vision one eye can see extremely clearly while the other one has less than 20/20 vision. Every time the child looks at an object the brain gets confused as to which image it should take in. To protect itself the brain shuts down the eye that has less than perfect vision and this is what causes a lazy eye. If this problem is detected when the child is about 5 or 6 years old it can be corrected. If, however, you wait until the child is 8 or 9 the problem may become permanent.
Another common problem is short sightedness. This is when both eyes have less than perfect vision. If your child doesnt get their glasses prescribed o0n time the problem only gets worse and they will need a much stronger prescription eventually. It is your job to make sure that your childs eyes are tested for perfect vision. There are several tests that the eye doctor will perform to test your childs vision. They will do a reading test, they may ask your child to identify an object from a distance and so on. If they find that your young child has less than perfect vision they will provide the necessary prescription glasses.
Initially your child may not wear their glasses as required they could find them hard to get used to or they may simply forget. It is your job to make sure that they have them on as long as they are awake. Before long they will get used to them.
There are several other signs that will tell you that your child is having eye problems. If you notice any of the following you should take your child to an eye doctor right away:
- If they have very itchy eyes all the time it could be a sign of an underlying inflammation and may even be a symptom of a more serious problem.
- If your child sits too close to the TV or read their books too closely they should be taken to an eye doctor.
- Sometimes a childs eyes may begin to tear up all the time. This is a sign of discomfort and should be looked into to.
- Another symptom that is alarming is redness typically, childrens eyes tend to be very clear. Make sure that you take your child to an eye doctor if their eyes start to turn red.
Although a visit to the eye doctor is not as stressful as one to the dentist it is still important that you discuss it with your child. Let them know that it will be painless but that the doctor may use drops to help them with the exam.