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Children are enchanting, but when it comes to their vision, many problems can go undiagnosed because they have a harder time verbalizing what is troubling them. This is where we, at Duncan Family Eye Care, come in. One of our specialties is children’s vision care, and we know how to get to the bottom of any vision problem they may be experiencing.
Children’s eyes are always evolving as they grow. So it should come as no surprise that several kinds of vision problems may develop. Many times they will change again because of the constant growth they undergo, but these issues shouldn’t go undiagnosed. Left untreated, children’s vision problems can cause pain such as headaches and eye strain and lead to difficulty in school due to blurry vision, astigmatism, or other eye problems.

Difficulty in School or with Homework

Is your child having trouble in school or with their homework?

It could be due to their eyes. Experts agree that up to 80% of learning is visual. That’s a lot of learning that might be missed if they are struggling to see things clearly. Because most of the time changes in vision are gradual, your child may not even know that’s what is causing them trouble.Especially in young children, verbalizing that they cannot see clearly is not something they may know how to do. It is essential to have your child’s vision checked at certain points in their development to avoid any unnecessary issues that are easily corrected by an eye doctor.

Children’s Eye Exams and Eye Care

It is important to have your child or teen’s eyes checked regularly to avoid problems that can affect them personally, academically, socially, and athletically. We all want our children to thrive, and ensuring they can see clearly and without pain is an integral part of their development.Children with a family history of eye problems are at increased risk of developing eye problems too. It is important to advise the doctor of any family medical history of eye problems, as well as any eye injuries, medical conditions, developmental delays, or medications your child is currently taking.

Children’s Vision Problems

Most children’s vision problems can be corrected, especially when they are caught early. If the doctor does determine there is a problem with your child’s vision, they may recommend various treatment options. These may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, an eye patch, vision therapy, or orthokeratology (ortho-k).

When Does My Child Need an Exam?

Children are not born with the visual acuity of their older peers. Eyesight develops over his or her first few months out of the womb. It becomes increasingly better until about his or her second birthday when hand-eye coordination should be well-developed. During the first month of life, babies can only see things clearly that are within 8-10 inches of their faces. By three months, babies should be able to track moving objects with their eyes and reach for them. By around eight months, most babies begin crawling, and this further helps their eye-hand-foot-body coordination. At twelve months, babies can typically throw things with some degree of precision.Due to the developing nature of their eyesight, it is crucial to watch out for signs of vision problems. If these problems are addressed early enough, there is a high likelihood of correcting them. That being said, eye and vision problems in babies and young toddlers are rare. However, here are some signs of vision problems to watch out for:*Extreme sensitivity to light, which can be a sign of elevated eye pressure *Appearance of a white pupil, which may be indicative of eye cancer *Red/encrusted eyelids can be a symptom of an infection *Excessive tearing can indicate blocked tear ducts *Frequent eye turning may be due to an issue with eye muscle controlEven if your child is not experiencing signs or symptoms of vision or eye problems, we recommend bringing your infant in for their first exam at around six months of age. Your optometrist will check for things like appropriate eye movement, overall eye health, and excessive or unequal degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

While much of your child’s vision is developed by age two, there is still a lot of fine-tuning that occurs between two and five years old. At this stage, children usually begin coloring, writing, crafting, reading, assembling toys, and cutting. It is essential to address any new or unusual changes to their vision, especially before they begin school.Some new signs of vision problems to watch for during this age include:*Squinting *Covering one eye *Tilting head to one side *Sitting too close to the television or holding books close to their face *Frequently rubbing their eyes *Turning of one or both eyes inward or outward *Sensitivity to light *Poor hand-eye coordination *Short attention span for their age *Avoiding detailed activities like coloring, puzzles, and readingBefore your child begins preschool, they may be screened by either their own pediatrician or a pediatrician at the school. It is important to note that this is NOT the same as a vision exam. Screenings are very limited in what they check for, and cannot be used to diagnose eye or vision problems. It is estimated that these screenings miss as many as 60% of children with vision problems.Some time around age three is when you’ll want to bring your child in for a routine vision exam. If your optometrist does not find any problems, he or she will likely recommend they come in for their next appointment at about age five, before they begin kindergarten.

During their school years, children and teens should receive a vision exam every year. Vision frequently changes during these ages, and catching a problem early can prevent several issues with academic and sports performance as well as self-esteem. School vision screenings are also performed during these years, and it is important to remember they are not full vision exams. They should not replace your child’s annual vision exam performed by his or her optometrist.If you notice any of the following, it may be time to bring your child in for an exam regardless of how recently their last exam was:*Headaches *Discomfort and fatigue *Frequent blinking or rubbing the eyes *Short attention span *Avoiding reading and detailed activities *Covering one eye *Tilting the head to one side *Holding reading materials close to the face *One or both eyes turning inward or outward *Double vision *Frequently losing place while reading *Poor reading comprehension

While some symptoms of vision-related learning problems may be more evident than others, the following are some signs to look out for as well:*Headaches *Blinking frequently *Tilting head to one side *Double vision *Poor reading comprehension *Avoiding reading *Losing their place often while reading *Short attention spanWhile blurry vision, either myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness), are some of the most common diagnoses in children, we also test for several other factors that affect your child’s vision including:*Color vision *Focusing *Hand-eye coordination *Peripheral vision *TrackingBy evaluating each of these things, we can create a whole picture of your child’s vision and develop a treatment plan that is just right for them. No two eyes are exactly alike, even in the same person, and we treat them as such - carefully ensuring we check for everything we can.

What Our Patients Say

  • Very friendly staff doctor Edwards was great! They explained every test and was very good at informing everything he did for my 10 year old son. I was very pleased and would suggest them to anyone and everyone!

    Tyler B. Avatar
    Tyler B.
    3/11/2019
  • My kid’s appointments were on time. Dr. Edwards was very thorough, knowledgeable and patient with both of my kids. His office staff is always super friendly and helpful!

    Jamie R. Avatar
    Jamie R.
    3/06/2019
  • I brought my 10 year old daughter in and it was a very fun experience. I know it might sound strange to say that going to the eye doctor is a fun experience, but Dr. Atchley and his staff was a delight to work with, and I would highly recommend them to everyone I know. If you need eye care go see Duncan Family Eye Care!

    Todd D. Avatar
    Todd D.
    1/24/2019
  • Very friendly, helpful & professional staff. Always a great experience. My daughter and I have been coming here for years. I would definitely recommend to get your eye exam and glasses here. Wide variety.

    Nicole B. Avatar
    Nicole B.
    12/14/2018
  • Dr. Atchley is amazing. Very personal and caring. Will explain everything so you completely understand the evaluation and recommendations. And his staff is incredible. That's why I drive an hour to this first class practice.

    Robert G. Avatar
    Robert G.
    12/03/2018
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