CHILDREN'S EYE EXAM
When Do Kids Need an Eye Exam?
Your child’s first eye exam should be at 6 months old. After that, you should bring them in again at 3 years old and again just before they start kindergarten. Once your child is in school, they’ll need an eye exam every year.
Think of eye exams as a part of your back-to-school routine; your kids aren’t ready for a new school year until they’ve had their eye exams.
Eye Exams help set your child up for Success
Vision is the cornerstone of a child’s learning and development processes. They’ll rely on sight for fundamental skills like walking and talking! Being proactive and ensuring your child has healthy eyes is a good way to set them on the road to success early.
Making Eye Exams Fun and Interesting for Kids
We want your kids to feel comfortable and at ease during their exam. So we’ll make sure they’re interested and engaged in what’s going on; making them feel like an important part of the process.
We also understand that kids may not have the verbal skills they need to tell us what they’re seeing, so we use special testing procedures to help us understand your child’s vision and overall eye health.
Vision & Learning
Nearly 80% of what children learn is gained as a result of their vision. Children’s eyesight affects many aspects of their development, from improving fine and gross motor skills and language skills, to reading, writing, and social interactions.
25% of Ontario children start school with an undiagnosed vision problem. The first few years in school are critical to a child’s success, and an eye health or vision problem can interfere with their ability to learn.
Undiagnosed and untreated vision problems can lead to:
Frustration with school
Learning at a slower rate than their peers
Behavioural and disciplinary problems
Higher risk for dropping out of school
Lifelong disadvantages and underachievement
Regular eye exams are essential for removing barriers to success that may be caused by a vision problem.
Myopia is Increasingly Common in Kids
Nearsightedness (also known as myopia) has been on the rise in young kids in the last few years. This vision problem is caused by the eyeball growing too long in proportion to the curve of the cornea. When the eye is too long, light focuses at a point just in front of the retina rather than directly on the retina. This makes everything beyond a certain distance look blurry.
Because myopia can get worse with age, it’s not necessarily enough to correct myopia; controlling myopia can keep the refractive error from getting more severe and requiring a stronger prescription. At Shaughnessy Optometry, we offer a variety of myopia control methods. We’ll discuss all of the treatment options with you. Book your child’s eye exam today and ask your optometrist how myopia control could help your child.
Amblyopia is a Common Childhood Vision Problem
Amblyopia is an issue with eye alignment or teaming which is sometimes referred to as a “lazy eye”. When both eyes work together properly, your brain can merge the messages from both eyes into one cohesive image. But sometimes, the eyes can’t work together properly due insufficient eye muscles strength or an extreme refractive error in one eye. This makes it tricky for the brain to merge the messages from both eyes into one image. To simplify the process, the brain sometimes decides to ignore messages from one eye. As a result, the eye stops getting instructions from the brain, and can appear to drift off to the side, unused. Amblyopia requires treatment.
We Treat Amblyopia Through Vision Therapy
In some cases, we can help the brain and the eyes work together as a team through a process called vision therapy. Book an appointment to see if your child could benefit from vision therapy.