When I ask most parents about their children’s eyes, almost all of them tell me they had an eye exam at their pediatrician‘s office. I’m here to tell you that that is far from a comprehensive eye exam.
Pediatrician’s offices are good at screening for large distance vision problems, but there is more to vision than just reading the 20/20 line. On the same note, I’ve seen a lot of kids who passed a ‘school screening,’ but get to my office and absolutely need glasses. In fact, if you just do an eye chart you miss 50% of eye problems.
Nearly all farsighted children will pass a vision screening, and most in fact won’t require glasses. But as an Optometrist with you child’s best interest in mind, I want to know their exact prescription and make sure we’re not missing any problems.
Vision is responsible for 80% of what kids learn, so it’s important to make sure they can see clearly and comfortably. That’s why I recommend every child has a comprehensive eye exam before they start kindergarten. It’s so vital to make sure your youngster starts school seeing their best, to ensure they get off on the right foot and have every advantage to excel at school.
When I do a pediatric exam, of course I test distance vision. I also test your child’s ability to use both eyes together and focus at near. I look for symptoms of headaches, trouble reading, or subtle eye turns.
Our office is very kid friendly and we work closely with many pediatricians. And even though taking your child to yet one more doctor’s appointment may seem like a chore for both of you, just know that visiting the eye doctor is not likely to be as upsetting for a youngster as visiting the pediatrician. As I tell all of the kids to put them at ease, we don’t have shots, only letters and a flashlight.
Pediatric exams are fun and rewarding for us, knowing that we are integral in your child’s overall eye and health care.
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