Refractive Error in Children
Your toddler may not be old enough to read the eye chart, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting his eyes checked. It’s important to get your child a baseline eye evaluation from an eye-care professional early in life (experts recommend an eye exam as early as two months). This is especially true if you have a family history of eye problems or notice anything unusual (like any of the symptoms below). Since he’s too young to know when something’s wrong with his eyesight, you have to look for following symptoms.
If your child has any of those symptoms, he could have one of the following common eye problems.
Common refractive errors are:
Nearsightedness (myopia): Nearsightedness, or myopia, is the most common refractive error of the eye
If you are nearsighted, you typically will have difficulty reading road signs and seeing distant objects clearly, but will be able to see well for close-up tasks such as reading and computer use.
difficulty seeing near objects clearly, headaches, and eyestrain.
Farsightedness in children also often goes unnoticed. Some children born with farsightedness have never seen close objects clearly and may not be aware that it’s possible to see them better. Also, hyperopic children can sometimes see close objects clearly by unconsciously straining their eyes. In such children, the main symptom of hyperopia may be headaches, not blurring.
Astigmatism: difficulty focusing objects at all distances
If you have astigmatism, you typically will have Blurred or distorted vision at all distances, Eyestrain, Headaches Children also tend so squeeze their eyes to see better when they have astigmatism.
EYE EXAMINATION FOR CHILDREN
Eye Testing for Infants
Babies should be able to see as good as adults in terms of focusing ability, color vision and depth perception by 6 months of age. To assess whether your baby’s eyes are developing normally, the doctor typically will use the following tests:
Eye Testing for Preschool Children
Some parents are surprised to learn that preschool-age children do not need to know their letters in order to undergo certain eye tests, even when they are too young or too shy to verbalize.
Some common eye tests used specifically for young children include:
Vision Screening and Your Child’s Performance in School
Remember that appropriate vision testing at an early age is vital to insure your child has the visual skills he or she needs to perform well in school.
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