Experts state that 80% of learning is visual, which implies that children with unclear vision may face difficulties in their learning process. This even applies to infants who develop and learn about the world through their sense of sight. Hence, it is crucial to get their eyes and vision checked by an eye doctor during different stages of their development. According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their eyes examined by an eye doctor at 6 months, 3 years, the start of school, and every two years following. However, if there are any signs of vision problems or if the child has certain risk factors, more frequent exams are recommended.
Eye Exams in Infants
Infants' visual system develops gradually over the first few months of life, which serves as the foundation for their motor development such as crawling, walking, and hand-eye coordination. Keeping an eye on the infant's development and scheduling a comprehensive infant eye exam at 6 months can ensure they are reaching developmental milestones. At this exam, the eye doctor will check the child's vision and look for any conditions that could impair eye health or vision. Infants who were born premature or have developmental delays may require more frequent visits to monitor their progress.
Eye Exams in Preschool Children
During the toddler and preschool age, children experience drastic growth in intellectual and motor skills, which rely on good vision and visual processes. Parents should look out for signs of lazy eye or crossed eyes, as well as developmental delays that could be linked to visual problems. In school-aged children, undetected or uncorrected vision problems can lead to academic, social, and behavioral issues. Thus, getting their eyes examined can help diagnose and treat any issues early on, allowing children to reach their full potential. Eye exams can assess visual skills like binocular vision, focusing, peripheral vision, color vision, hand-eye coordination, and tracking, along with checking for any eye diseases or health conditions.