One of the most common questions our eye doctors are asked is “When should I bring my child in for their first appointment with you?” Many parents think the first eye exam should take place when their child starts school, but it’s actually recommended to come in for a first appointment before your child turns 1, and then annual exams after that.
Eye exams for infants are very important, and we make sure they’re both quick and easy for you and your child. During this visit, our doctors will check the basic working order and structure of the eyes to make sure they’re developing properly. They’ll also check that the eyes are working well together and that they’re free of rare but serious problems, such as cataracts and tumors that could hinder vision. We recommend scheduling your appointment before your child turns 1, however, if after age 3 months you notice any of the following, we recommend calling us to get in as soon as possible:
Between the ages of 2 and 3 our doctors will check for signs of developmental eye problems, like “lazy eye,” crossed eyes, nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. If we find a problem we can recommend corrective therapies. We also work closely with local pediatric eye care specialists if more aggressive treatments, such as surgery, are required.
Just before Kindergarten we will check for visual acuity and prescribe glasses if needed.
Once your child starts school, a yearly eye exam continues to be a must - kids who don’t see well, don’t learn well. Children’s eyes can change quickly, and before you know it, their schoolwork can suffer. The good news is that most conditions can be easily corrected, once they’re detected.
If you haven’t brought your child in for their first exam, give us a call at any of our four locations; West Reno, South Reno; Carson City or South Lake Tahoe, and we’ll get you in soon to see one of our great doctors. We’ll even have a treat for your little one when we’re done!
When it comes to glasses and kids we often see three scenarios in our offices. The first is a child who is complaining about blurry vision either when reading books or looking at the whiteboard in their class. Through testing, we can determine that your child does in fact have a vision problem and we can prescribe appropriate glasses, or contacts for older children.
The second is a child who is also complaining about not being able to see in class and is certain they “need” glasses. In this case, we sometimes determine he or she doesn't need glasses, and instead diagnose a case of “I just really want to wear glasses because I think they’re cool.” In this case, we carefully talk to the parents and let them know that their child’s vision is fine and that glasses aren’t needed. We then present this to the child in a way as to not upset them.
The third scenario is the child who comes in and says that everything is fine with their vision, but during our testing we realize that glasses are definitely needed.
So how do you know if your child needs eyeglasses? The only way to know for sure is to make schedule a yearly eye exam for them. Like everything else going on with their little bodies, their eyes can change seemingly overnight. Thanks to annual eye exams, our doctors can keep tabs on vision changes.
In between those yearly eye exams, here are some things to watch for:
If you believe your child may need glasses, or you haven’t brought them in during the past year, please give us a call so we can get an appointment scheduled for them. We offer a large selection of glasses for children of all ages, from infants to teens. And, our experienced opticians can help you decide if you’d like to add protective coatings or transitional lenses that convert the glasses to sunglasses.
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