You want the best for your kids- and so do we! At Fritz & Hawley Guild Opticians, we offer kids eye exams and eye care for all ages. You may find yourself asking:
“How do I know if my child needs to see an eye doctor?”
“What age should I bring my child for their first eye exam?”
“How often should my child get an eye exam?”
“How do I know what eye doctor is best for my child?”
Continue reading to learn more about kids eye exams, how to choose the right doctor, and how you can ensure your child’s eye health thrives.
Why Kids Should See an Eye Doctor
Kids eye exams are crucial for detecting vision problems that can otherwise go unnoticed. Children experience numerous changes in their eyes, and regular eye exams allow for early detection and treatment of any issues.
A common condition called amblyopia, or lazy eye, impacts many children. Amblyopia occurs when the eyes don’t work together properly. At an eye exam, an optometrist can diagnose this and recommend methods to help correct it. Additionally, conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and retinoblastoma can all be detected during an eye exam and require immediate treatment to prevent serious consequences.
Undiagnosed vision problems can also impact a child’s academic performance. Children who struggle with reading and comprehending material may be experiencing vision-related difficulties that haven’t been addressed. Eye exams can identify these issues and ensure that children receive the necessary support to succeed in school.
By scheduling comprehensive eye exams for your children, you can ensure that their eyes are healthy and that they have the tools they need to succeed in everyday life.
Choosing a Kids Eye Doctor
When it comes to choosing the right eye doctor for your child, there are several factors that parents should consider before booking a kids eye exam.
The first step is to ensure that the eye doctor is qualified and trained to handle children’s eye health. Additionally, parents should look for an eye doctor who has a kid-friendly approach and makes the visit enjoyable for children. This can help alleviate fear and anxiety in young patients and establish a positive attitude towards eye exams and eye health for life.
Another consideration is the eye doctor’s availability and accessibility. Parents should opt for a practitioner who is conveniently located and offers flexible appointment times for kids eye exams to accommodate busy schedules. In case of emergencies or urgent eye care needs, it is also important to select an eye doctor who has responsive communication channels and is readily available for consultation. Fritz & Hawley is open Monday through Saturday, and we offer appointments outside business hours. Give us a call!
Parents should also check for reviews and ratings from other parents (and patients) to gauge the quality of services provided by an eye doctor. Positive feedback is a good indicator of a trustworthy and reliable practitioner who prioritizes patient satisfaction and delivers optimal outcomes!
Scheduling a Kids Eye Exam for the First Time
The American Optometric Association recommends that children have their first comprehensive eye exam at six months old, then at age three, and again before starting kindergarten or first grade. This may come as a surprise to some parents, as they may assume that an eye exam is not necessary until their child is old enough to read or identify letters, but that is not the case.
At six months of age, a pediatric optometrist can perform a thorough eye exam to detect any potential vision or eye health issues. During the exam, the optometrist will use lights and other tools to examine the structure of the eye, check for proper eye movement, and evaluate visual acuity. This early eye exam can be critical in identifying and treating issues before they cause long-term damage or impact a child’s development.
It’s important for parents to recognize that even if their child does not show any signs of vision problems, they could still have an underlying issue that only a comprehensive eye exam can detect. Some common vision problems in children include crossed eyes, lazy eye, color blindness, and nearsightedness.
Eye Care for School-Aged Children & Teenagers
As children get older, regular comprehensive eye exams every two years during school-age years are recommended. However, if a child has a vision or eye health issue, they may need to be seen more frequently.
As we mentioned, children’s eyesight changes rapidly during their early years and continues to develop throughout their teenage years, making it essential to assess their visual health regularly.
As children become teens, it becomes even more crucial to continue monitoring their visual health. With the increasing reliance on digital devices and prolonged use of electronic screens, it is not uncommon for teenagers to experience eye strain, headaches, and dry eyes. Additionally, there is a growing concern about the long-term impact of blue light emitted from electronic screens on adolescent eye health.
Encouraging Good Eye Health for Your Children
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to eye care and eye health:
Encourage Outdoor Play
Research shows that spending time outdoors can significantly reduce the risk of developing nearsightedness in children. Encourage your child to play outside regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
Limit Screen Time
Too much screen time can cause eye strain, headaches, and dry eyes. Encourage your child to take frequent breaks when using electronic devices, and limit screen time to no more than two hours a day.
Protect Their Eyes from the Sun
Just like skin, your children’s eyes can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays. Make sure your child wears sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays whenever they’re outside.
A healthy diet can also contribute to good eye health in children. Foods rich in vitamin A, C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc can help keep eyes healthy and reduce the risk of eye diseases.
Trust Fritz & Hawley With Your Kids Eye Exam & Eye Health
Our highly experienced and professional in-house independent optometrist uses state-of-the-art equipment to perform comprehensive kids eye exams. Our optometrist is well-versed in pediatric optometry and has considerable experience in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating children’s eye conditions ranging from myopia and astigmatism to amblyopia and strabismus.
We are committed to providing a smooth and stress-free experience for both parents and children, and ensuring that every child’s vision is given the attention and care it deserves! Contact us today to learn more about kids eye exams and eye care for adolescents and teens at Fritz & Hawley Guild Opticians in Hamden, CT.