The Importance of Regular Eye Exams for Kids

Vision can make a world of difference

When should kids have their first eye exam? How often should they be tested?

We’ve all heard the story about the child who struggles in school until they receive their first pair of eyeglasses. The fact is, children with vision problems struggle with academics, socially, and in other areas such as sports. Ensuring the healthy vision of children helps them reach their highest potential.

Tina, ZEISS HR specialist and enthusiast, shares her experience as a child with vision problems, the importance of regular eye exams, and how she now embraces the multitude of new styles and options in vision correction.

The American Optometric Association (AOA), suggests eye exams starting at 6 months of age, at age three, and at the start of school. Those without vision impairment should have exams every two years thereafter, while those with vision problems or at high risk should have them more often.

One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem because changes in their eyesight go unrecognized by both the child and their parents or guardian.

Andrea Thau, O.D., president of the AOA

Dr. Thau explains, "...making a comprehensive eye examination a priority this year is one of the single most important investments you can make in your child's education and overall health. While schools typically offer basic vision screenings, these often create a false sense of security by missing significant problems. A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to properly diagnose and treat vision and eye health issues."

Risk Factors:

  • History of premature birth or low birth weight
  • Infection of mother during pregnancy (examples: rubella, venereal disease, herpes, AIDS)
  • Developmental delays
  • Turned or crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Family history of eye disease
  • High refractive error or anisometropia
  • Other physical illness or disease

Unfortunately, many school vision screenings do not accurately detect vision problems in up to one-third of children, so it’s imperative that the parents take their children to an optometrist or ophthalmologist for appropriate vision care.

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