Child development is something we all care about, and one area where parents and other caregivers need to pay close attention is with the child's vision. Pediatric eye care has come a long way. Today, it involves far more than getting your child's vision screened before they start school. At University Eye Associates, we have years of experience providing Charlotte and Davidson residents with reliable optometry services including myopia control in kids.
Baby's First Eye Exam
Pediatric eye exams start in infancy when a child is six months old. Even then, your child's optometrist will be able to see if your child's eyes are responding to light and color the way that they are supposed to. They will check to make sure your child can display preferential looking, can fixate on and follow objects, and that their pupils respond correctly to light or the absence of light.
With a few more skills, your child's optometrist can check your preschooler's visual skills while there is still time to correct any potential gaps. They will check for visual acuity (the 20/20 part of vision), for conditions such as lazy eye. The optometrist will also assess your child’s 3D vision, color vision, the ability of their eyes to work together, and overall ocular health. If your child is experiencing any developmental delays it is important to share these with his eye doctor, as these delays may indicate a greater underlying issue.
Once kids are in school, their eye exams start to look a bit more like an adult exam, although they may still have conditions such as Lazy Eye or eye-teaming issues. One condition that becomes more common is myopia, or nearsightedness, which affects up to 42% of children. If you wear contacts or glasses yourself, there's a good chance your myopia began when you were a child, and you just returned to the eye doctor each year for a new prescription until your eyes evened out. Today, myopia control in kids is more advanced, and there may be options to reduce the amount of myopia your child will develop as he grows.
Myopia Control in Kids
Myopia doesn't happen because your child sits too close to the TV; it happens because their eyes grow too fast and becomes too long, causing the cornea or lens to curve too much. When left alone, myopia normally keeps getting worse until the child is near 20 years old and the eyes stop growing. Glasses and/or contacts are still the first line of defense against myopia, but you may want to talk to your optometrist about other options too. Atropine eye drops and special contacts have both shown promise in reducing the level of myopia children develop over their childhood. Corrective lenses may still be necessary, but by having a weaker prescription they will have a reduced risk of eye health problems when they are older.
Pediatric Optometrist in Charlotte and Davidson
For more information or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist, call University Eye Associates today or request an appointment online.