pediatric vision

Children and Visual Health: Myths About Pediatric Eye Exams  

Most parents are exceptionally vigilant about their child’s health care needs. However, visiting the eye doctor is often something that gets overlooked. Visual assessment and exams are actually just as critical as part of your child’s overall healthcare plan. Unfortunately, several myths can keep caregivers from scheduling pediatric eye exams as they should.

Myth: Children don’t need an eye exam until right before they start school.

It is true that a child should have a vision exam before they start school. However, most professionals actually recommend that children have their first pediatric eye exam before the age of one. Most pediatricians do actually do a basic visual assessment soon after a baby is born. However, this basic assessment is meant to look for developmental issues and may not always catch vision problems. Eye exams in the years before school may correct problems that could cause issues once the child starts school.

Myth: Children cannot get an eye exam if they do not recognize their alphabet letters.

The eye exam that is performed on children before they recognize their letters is quite a bit different from the eye exam that is given to a school-aged child using a letter chart. The optometrist will be looking at the structures of the eye, how the eyes team together, and other aspects of visual function. Shapes, colorful images, and other items may be used to assess visual abilities as well.

Myth: Most children only need an eye exam every five years.

If a child does not have any obvious vision problems or wears glasses, you should schedule a pediatric eye exam about every two years. Children who are wearing corrective lenses do need to be seen every year. Some optometrists may recommend even more visits if your child has certain visual health or development concerns.

Schedule Your Pediatric Eye Exam in North Syracuse, NY

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to make sure their visual capabilities are as good as they can be. Optometric attention may be required to ensure that. If you believe your child has vision problems, or they need a checkup, reach out to us at McPherson Optometry.


Is My Child Too Young for Glasses?

Young children can have eye problems, too. Even children as young as 12 months may need corrected vision. If you think your child may have vision issues, regardless of age, make an appointment with your local vision center today.

Symptoms of Poor Vision in Young Children

Poor vision often manifests in children between the ages of 18 months and 4 years old. Sometimes, the problem is easy to recognize as a wandering or “lazy” eye. Crossed eyes is another symptom of vision issues in young children. If your child suffers from either of these conditions, you and your pediatrician will likely both notice.

Sometimes, young children have vision problems that are less noticeable, such as uneven focus. Because they’ve had the condition since birth and have never seen the world differently, they won’t notice there’s a problem. This is when your child’s routine vision screenings become vital.

Symptoms of poor vision in very young children include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Eye rubbing
  • Crust
  • Swelling or tearing
  • Bulging eyes
  • Drooping eyelids

If you notice these symptoms in your child, regardless of age, schedule a vision screening.

How Do Young Children Manage Glasses?

If your very young child needs glasses, don’t despair. The key is to purchase ones that are durable and resist breakage. You may also want to purchase extended protection plans for glasses meant for youngsters.

To help young children manage and care for glasses, first find out how often they need to wear them. It may also be helpful to let your child help pick out their glasses. When kids play a role in choosing, they’re often more invested in caring for them. Once you’re home with the new glasses, have a sit-down conversation with your youngster to discuss how important it is to take care of them. Outline rules to help, such as storing the glasses in their case when not in use and taking them off before engaging in active play.

Contact McPherson Optometry in Syracuse, NY

Call McPherson Optometry in the North Syracuse area today to schedule an appointment for children who exhibit signs of vision problems. Our friendly professionals are waiting to help.


Why Your Child Needs a Back-to-School Eye Exam

The American Optometry Association (AOA) recommends back-to-school eye exams as an essential element in helping kids in their classroom success. While you may have had your child immunized for the new school year, and went shopping for their back-to-school supplies and clothes, did you include getting an eye exam into their back-to-school preparation tasks?

The Extent of Vision Issues in Children

The AOA reports that as many as one in four children can have a vision problem that parents fail to recognize. Further, one in four preschool U.S. children have problems with their vision, and one in four school-age children will require corrective lenses by the time they start school.

Consequences of Uncorrected Vision Problems in Kids

Numerous studies presented evidence of the adverse impacts poor vision can have on various aspect of a child’s development, including:

  • Attention and behavior issues: Between the ages of six to 18, your child’s vision can change unexpectedly or often, which can result in classroom behavioral or attention issues, says the AOA.
  • Poor school performance: Poor vision in the classroom leads to not only being able to see the chalkboard and problems seeing the computer and reading material, but, it hinders scholastic performance overall.
  • Self-esteem and social interactions: There’s more involved other than your child not being able to see the chalkboard. Poor vision can cause a child to withdraw and become less confident and social.

AOA Recommendations for Eye Exams for School-Aged Children

A thorough eye exam is an optimal way to adequately identify and treat vision and eye health issues for both children and adults. The AOA has recommended guidelines for the frequency of eye exams in children (and adults). For children, these are:

  • Children aged 3 to 5 years: Should have an eye exam at least once between the ages of 3 to 5 years if at low risk for vision issues or more frequently as recommended for those children at risk.
  • Children aged 6 to 17 years: Beginning at first-grade children should have an eye exam and annually thereafter, unless at risk for vision issues indicating more frequent exams.

Schedule Your Child’s Back-to-School Eye Exam at McPherson Optometry

McPherson Optometry, P.C. is the leading and vision care products and optometry services provider in the North Syracuse community. Call our office at 315-458-1000 to schedule a pediatric eye exam or complete our online form.