Eye Exams for Teens and Kids
It is never too early to start caring for your children’s vision. Eye exams for teens and kids are important because vision problems can often progress imperceptibly slowly. Wicker Park Eye Center can help prevent vision problems and help your child experience good eyesight into adulthood and their golden years.
Dr. Daniel J. Tepper and the team at our Chicago, IL vision practice as would like to discuss why routine eye exams for children is so beneficial to their long-term health.
How Soon Should My Child Get an Eye Exam?
We recommend starting eye exams very early. You should consider bringing your child in for their first eye exam when they are as young and six-to-twelve months old. This is especially important for families with a history of vision loss and congenital eye conditions.
How Will Eye Doctors Examine a Very Young Child’s Eyes?
While young children may not be able to read an eye chart, there are other ways to determine their visual acuity.
An eye doctor will check for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and lazy eye. They will check each lens as they focus on near and far objects, examine the internal structures of each eye. They will also check for object tracking capability.
With these tests, our Chicago eye care team can determine whether any ocular issues are present.
Signs of Vision Loss in Young Children
So how can you determine if your child needs eye treatment? If they are too young to speak, it can be difficult to know how well they can see.
There are some common signs and symptoms that indicate early vision loss. Parents should diligently check their children for the following:
- Encrusted or red eyelids: This may indicate an infection and should be treated immediately.
- Constant eye turning: This could mean an issue with eye muscle control.
- Excessive tears: This may indicate eye irritation or others issues that warrant a visit to the ophthalmologist.
- Crossed eyes: This may also indicate trouble with their eye muscles, or difficulty focusing.
- Cloudy eyes: Although rare, this can indicate glaucoma, which can cause blindness in one or both eyes. Any sign of cloudiness should be examined immediately.
- White or grey spot: Also uncommon, this typically indicated cataracts, which are still a possibility for children.
How Often Should Children Get Eye Exams?
If the initial exam between six and twelve months shows no signs of vision problems, we recommend coming in for a checkup around age 3. The next exam after that tends to be around age 5 or 6 when the child starts school.
If a child has issues with the health of their eyes, they will need to come in more frequently for proper monitoring. During your visit to our Chicago eye center, we can discuss the ideal checkup frequency for your child’s needs.
Eye Exams for Teens
After age 5 or 6, it’s a good idea for your child to undergo annual eye exams into their teenage years. It’s important to discuss any vision issues with your pre-teen and teenage children so these issues can be treated as soon as possible.
Even slightly blurred vision can cause headaches and worsen a young person’s eyesight if left untreated. For teenage patients, it’s crucial that they wear glasses or contacts in order to see clearly and not suffer setbacks in school or in sports because of poor eyesight.