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Why Eye Exams Are Essential to Kids’ Eyesight

Posted on February 7, 2020 in Vision Health


Use our checklist to find out if your child is secretly suffering from poor vision health. Then, use

You know you are supposed to visit the dentist twice a year for your preventive check-ups, but did you know that annual vision exams are equally as important? Eye exams are essential for children because they can help identify or prevent underlying vision issues before they become worse. By visiting the eye doctor each year, they can document the vision health of your child to determine if any changes occur over time.

In addition, regular exams can reveal early warning signs of more serious overall health conditions. An optometrist, or vision doctor, can detect signs of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes.

How Do Eye Doctors Discover Underlying Vision Issues?

Vision isn’t just seeing 20/20. To be successful in school, a child needs strong eye-focusing ability, hand-eye coordination, and more. Click here for a complete list of vision skills needed for reading and learning from the American Optometric Association (AOA).

Signs that your child is suffering from vision problems include:

  • Complaints of discomfort, headaches, or tiredness.
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking.
  • Short attention span.
  • Avoidance of reading, homework, or other close activities.
  • Covering one eye or tilting the head to see better.
  • Holding reading materials close to the face.
  • Eye turning in or out.
  • Seeing double.
  • Losing place when reading.
  • Difficulty remembering what was read.

The most comprehensive way to check your child’s vision is to have a dilated eye exam. This involves the use of eye drops that expand the pupil to help the doctor get a complete look inside each eye.

A variety of tests are performed during this exam, including a vision test, a periphery test, a muscle test, a response test, a pressure test, and even a dilation test.

What Else Do They Check?

Eye exams also serve as an opportunity to see exactly how well—or not—your child can see. It’s common for someone to think they have perfect eyesight right up until they get a pair of glasses or contact lenses. Getting into a vision doctor early can help spare time spent squinting and struggling to see. 

How Often Should My Kid’s Eyesight Get Checked?

According to the Center for Disease Control, kids should be checked once between birth and three months of age, once between six months and one year of age, around age three, and at five years old. From there, an annual visit is recommended.

If you suspect a vision injury or potential loss of eyesight or your child complains about blurred vision, visit your provider as soon as possible.

Do You Offer Benefits for Vision Services?

Delta Dental offers DeltaVision plans for employers and a combined dental and vision plan for individuals. These plans cover exams, frames, contact lenses, and even laser correction procedures, as well as discounts on lenses, at participating providers.

Find a DeltaVision provider.

Interested in learning more about DeltaVision? Click here.

Curious about eye health? Check out this blog for more information.

*Updated June 2022