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Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition during childhood. Studies show that one out of 10 children is at risk from undiagnosed vision problems. Many eye conditions, including amblyopia (“lazy eye”), muscle imbalances, large refractive errors, and some ocular diseases do not have warning signs and can be easily missed in routine well-care examinations given by pediatricians. These vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to develop skills and perform to their potential.
At Eye Associates, we follow the American Optometric Association’s guidelines and advocate early, preventative eye care including examinations at the following ages:
The extent to which a child is at risk for the development of eye and vision problems determines the appropriate re-evaluation schedule. In addition to visual acuity screening, our comprehensive pediatric examination also includes testing for unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, which could prevent one eye from developing properly. We carefully check that the eyes are positioned straight, work well together as a team, and focus accurately. Dilation drops might be used so the doctor can look inside and ensure the health of the eye but we do also offer the Optos retinal scan which allows the doctor to look inside the eye without the use of drops (which most children prefer) and in fact, it offers the doctor an improved view. In general, although they may be apprehensive, most children find the whole process painless, and often fun!