We take pride in maintaining the vision of our younger patients in an environment that is lighthearted and fun. We want to insure the good sight, vision, and eye health for the rest of your child's life and take a preventative approach to his/her general health and eye health. We will work with your child's primary care physician to help keep his/her eyes healthy. It is important that all of our pediatric patients have healthy and efficient visual systems to help make the visual demands of learning in school easier.
Since normal vision is not developed until 6 mos. we recommend that the first eye examination should be at age 9 mos. At this age infants are easy to examine and should have normal eyes. If a child appears to have a problem before this age, by all means bring your baby in. We are adept in examining infants from birth on. At 9 months of age babies are very reflexive. They will stare or look at objects interesting to them. Thus, its easy to have them track an object and evaluate eye movement skills. It is easy to determine if a strabismus (eye turn) is present. We are able to inspect the front of the eye to make sure the cornea is clear, the lacrimal system is normal (tearing) and there are no cataracts. We also make sure that there is no glaucoma.
With a special light we can determine if your child is nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic. Correction at this age may be important in preventing amblyopia which is present in 4% of all children. With appropriate glasses and patching this condition can be corrected at this young age. Lastly, we use a special instrument to look at your infants retina.
Yes, but your pediatrician will not pick anything other than grossly observable problems. The subtle problems like amblyopia, which causes more visual loss in the under 40 than all the diseases combined is often missed. If an eye turn is so small that it is cosmetically un-noticeable, then neither you nor the pediatrician will see it. However, that eye turn may cause a lack of development of normal depth perception and visual acuity. Lastly, visual acuity is not assessed until the child can read, too late to fully correct many of the visual problems.
There is a reason why they call them “terrible twos”. At that age the visual system is developed and your child knows they don’t want to be in the doctor’s office. They are less cooperative and more difficult to examine. In addition, many eye conditions can develop before this age and can be treated before it is detrimental to their visual health and development.
Typically if the first eye examination goes well, children should be re-examined annually. Children need to see well, have good eye muscle coordination, and have reached the normal visual developmental milestones to have unimpeded academic growth.