Blog post by Kelbi Harvey

It is said that roughly 80 percent of what a child learns prior to age 13 is presented visually. So, it is not surprising that good vision is necessary for optimal learning. Children today, even preschoolers, are routinely using computers and portable electronic devices for learning. This makes it more important to detect vision problems early.

Pay close attention to your children’s eyes from the beginning. Some children are born with eye alignment problems called strabismus which can cause incomplete visual development (amblyopia or “lazy eye”). If not detected, and treated early, strabismus and amblyopia can cause permanent visual disability. Some infants and toddlers are affected by common refractive errors such as farsightedness and astigmatism, which can cause eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and can lead to an avoidance of reading. These vision problems pose a greater risk for learning problems than strabismus. Another common vision problem in children is myopia “nearsightedness.” Though myopia typically does not affect reading, it causes blurred distance vision.

The AOA (American Optometric Association) recommends an infant exam at 6 months and another pediatric exam between 3-5 years of age. If there are any concerns, it is recommended the child be seen more frequently. Your child’s first trip to the optometrist is an important step in maintaining your child’s health and ensuring his or her ability to learn and grow.