Children's Vision

Children’s Vision Care at University Eye Associates


Your child’s vision is vital for their growth and development. Functional vision is learned throughout childhood; therefore, it is important to ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and growing properly so their eyes can develop. Regular eye exams from your optometrist can help detect vision issues in your child early before they lead to significant problems later in life. Many children do not know their vision is blurry because they have not known or seen any differently. University Eye Associates in Davidson, Harrisburg (Rocky River), and University (Charlotte), NC, can examine your child’s eyes and correct potential issues early on to keep your child’s eyes healthy and vision strong. Continue reading to learn about the most common vision problems children face and how our children’s vision care can help.

Children Vision Care

Common Vision Problems in Children

There are many different vision problems beyond the need of glasses and/or contact lenses. Common conditions in children are refractive errors, strabismus, and amblyopia. Not all of these conditions are easily noticed with a naked eye. A full comprehensive eye exam can evaluate all of these conditions and address them accordingly. Refractive errors or prescription are nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. These can be corrected with glasses and/or contact lenses. Strabismus is when a child has an eye turn or crossed eyes. This misalignment can cause the brain to turn off or suppress the eye that is not seeing properly causing a “weaker” or “lazy eye”. Eye turns can be corrected with different things such as glasses, vision therapy, or surgery depending on the underlying cause. “Lazy eye” also known as amblyopia is when the visual pathway from the eye to the brain does not develop properly due to different things: eye turn, high prescription that is not corrected a cataract, etc. This is important because after a certain age (around 7-9yo), the visual pathway is done growing. Amblyopia can be corrected with glasses, patching, and more. To ensure your child does not have any of these conditions, a proper evaluation is necessary.

When to Schedule Your Child’s Initial Eye Exams

While your child will receive vision screenings during their well-baby checkups and/or at school, these do not replace a full comprehensive eye exam. It is recommended by the American Optometric Association (AOA) that children have an eye exam at six months, three years, and before starting kindergarten or first grade. Children with certain eye conditions or in families with a history of vision problems may require more frequent exams. Behaviors that would initiate coming in for an eye examination include squinting, eye rubbing, eye turn, holding things too close to the face, moving closely to the TV or distant objects, headaches, eyes hurt, etc. These can be signs of ocular issues that need addressing.

What to Expect during Your Child’s Eye Exam

The main goal of a comprehensive eye exam is to ensure the child’s eyes are developing appropriately and they can see clearly. Most children’s exams are the exact same as an adult exam, but on a different scale. Here is what you can expect your optometrist to do during your child’s eye exam:

•           Visual acuity

•           Eye alignment

•           Eye muscles and eye tracking

•           Color vision and stereopsis (depth perception)

•           Pupil response to measure the health of the optic nerve and eye muscles

•           Refraction if glasses are needed

•           Accommodative and binocular function

•           Ocular health, including the posterior aspect which is done by dilation or a photo

Our optometrists may use more advanced tests to diagnose your child’s eye and vision issues and provide appropriate treatment.

Protect Your Child’s Vision by Visiting University Eye Associates Today

Having your child undergo periodic eye exams before beginning school and during is essential for their growth and development. The eyes are an outsource of our brain. In order for our brain and visual pathway to develop properly, adequate vision is needed to ensure this process grows. This is why a full comprehensive eye exam is necessary to ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and growing appropriately. Call us today to schedule an appointment at our Davidson office at (704) 896-9090, our Harrisburg (Rocky River) office at (704) 536-6042, or our University (Charlotte) office at (704) 547-1551.

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