Why Eye Exams Are Essential to Kids’ Eyesight
You know to visit the dentist twice a year for preventive check-ups, but did you know that vision exams are equally as important? Annual eye exams are essential to kids’ eyesight because they can help identify or prevent underlying vision issues before they get worse. By visiting the eye doctor each year, your provider can track 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. For adults, an optometrist, or vision doctor, can detect signs of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and even diabetes. In children, they may detect:
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, visual acuity for reading close up and viewing a whiteboard, and hand-eye coordination. Click here for a complete list of vision skills needed for reading and learning from the American Optometric Association (AOA).
A list of signs from the AOA 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 best way to check your child’s vision is for them to have a dilated eye exam. This involves the use of eye drops that expand the pupil in order for the doctor to 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 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. In fact, roughly “11 million Americans over age 12 need vision correction—but it’s just one of the reasons to get your eyes examined.” Getting in to 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 the norm.
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 individuals and for employers. 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 these helpful resources.