Before I became a part of the amazing team at Envision, I worked in childcare. I got my degree in psychology with an emphasis in child development. I was a preschool teacher for three years, baby sat everyone’s kids when I could, and was a nanny to three children for almost two years. It’s safe to say, I know a thing or two when it comes to kids.
Throughout my years of working in childcare; kids would get sick, pink eye would be passed around, and there was always your occasional lice check. I always heard parents talking about taking their children to their primary care physician for check up’s, or to the dentist to get their teeth cleaned, but never did I hear anyone talk about taking their child to the eye doctor.
Since working in the eye care field, I have learned so much about the importance of a yearly, comprehensive eye evaluation. Most individuals assume that you don’t need to go to the eye doctor unless you are having trouble with your vision. Truth be told, having the actual health of the eye evaluated, is very important for individuals at any age.
Did you know that children can suffer from congenital glaucoma or retinoblastoma, a rare malignant tumor of the retina? These types of diseases and other conditions can all be spotted with early detection, and often times, corrected if caught soon enough. This is just one reason to have your child evaluated at an early age.
The American Optometry Association estimates that 1 in 4 children have a vision- related condition, and 60% of learning disabilities are associated with vision problems. Poor vision can also affect a child’s physical and neurological development as eye muscle imbalances called strabismus or more commonly, “crossed eye’s” can lead to amblyopia, also known as, “lazy eye.” This is when the individuals brain suppresses vision from one eye to avoid seeing double, which can lead to total vision loss in that eye if untreated.
Getting your child into the eye doctor between 6-12 months is the perfect age for an initial comprehensive screening. InfantSee, a public health program for infants, offers a free comprehensive evaluation to infants before a year of age. This is a great way to get your child screened early to be sure their eyes are healthy. After the initial screening children can return to see their eye doctor around Kindergarten for a vision assessment and eye health evaluation.
If you are interested in getting your child seen for a comprehensive exam, or if you have questions about your child’s eyes, or vision, please come by or call our office. We would love to help in any way we can.
By: Katie Porter