Pediatric Eye Health Care
Support your child's highest potential.
Healthy vision is one of the most important components of your child’s wellness.
Vision develops rapidly starting at birth and is tied to many developmental milestones, such as hand-eye coordination and reading. In the long term, your child’s vision will impact how they learn, play, and interact with the world.
While there may be some obvious signs of visual disorders, many vision problems can only be detected by a qualified eye doctor during a comprehensive eye exam.
Is your child having trouble seeing?
It is not always easy to spot vision problems in kids.
Some symptoms are more obvious, like squinting or holding reading materials very close. But often the early signs are subtle and can even be misdiagnosed.
Your child may be experiencing a vision problem if he or she does any of the following:
- Avoids reading and close-up work like coloring or doing puzzles
- Seems to work slow or not understand the task
- Complains of fatigue or headaches
- Has a short attention span or seems distracted
- Covers one eye or tilts head when focusing on something
- Shows sensitivity to light
- Exhibits difficulty with coordination
Common eye disorders in children
Vision can be affected by many things, including the shape of the eyeball, how the eyes and brain work together, and by other diseases or medical conditions. The good news is that many eye disorders can be successfully identified and treated.
The most common eye disorders are caused by the shape and alignment of the eyes, including:
Strabismus is when the eyes do not align properly. This is often referred to as "crossed eyes."
Amblyopia is poor vision in one eye, and is sometimes referred to as "lazy eye." It usually occurs before the age of eight. Infants born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk.
Refractive errors cause blurry images due to the shape of the eyeball or lens. These common conditions are easily treated with glasses or contact lenses. There are three types of refractive errors:
- Myopia or nearsightedness is good close vision but poor distance vision.
- Hyperopia or farsightedness is poor up-close vision. Distant objects can easily be seen.
- Astigmatism is imperfect vision at any distance.
Eye exam schedule for kids
Routine eye exams are a crucial part of your child’s well-being and readiness for learning. Many parents do not know that school screenings are not the same as eye exams. Even with 20/20 vision, your child can still have problems that only an eye doctor can detect.
Newborns have their eyes checked before leaving the hospital. And leading medical organizations recommend comprehensive eye exams for health, vision development, and alignment at these ages:
- InfantSEE exam between 6 months and a year
- An InfantSEE assessment between 6 and 12 months of age is recommended to determine if an infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. It is estimated that one in five preschoolers has vision problems that can interfere with learning and behavior. Since many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant’s first year of life, a parent can give an infant a great gift by seeking an InfantSEE assessment in addition to the wellness evaluation of the eyes that is done by a pediatrician or family practice doctor.
- 3-4 years of age
- Right before kindergarten
- Every year throughout the school years
Support your child's highest potential at Northern Michigan Vision Source today.
Schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located locations.