Through my son’s younger years, I just took for granted that his pediatrician would tell me if there was an issue with my son’s eyes. Little did I know that the typical vision screening wasn’t enough. Children should be seen by an ophthalmologist every year starting at 6 months old!
Each year, at visits to the pediatricians office or even at preschool, we’ve had the kids’ eyes checked with their annual vision screenings. Both kids have passed each year, until now.
My handsome boy had his vision checked at school. That day, I volunteered and helped get the students through the screening process and just assumed that he had passed his exam. About a week and a half later, his teacher came to me and mentioned that he seemed to have a problem with his vision and hearing. The plan was that he was to be retested by the District school nurse into weeks.
If you know me, I freaked out! Worried something was really wrong, I called the pediatricians office and scheduled his annual physical immediately.
In the office the nurses did his vision screening and hearing testing again. He passed his hearing test with flying colors, however did not do so well with his vision. They agreed he should be seen by an optometrist for further evaluation,
We finally had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Tran of Attentive Eye Care and Optometry. We discovered handsome boy has perfectly healthy eyes, but the right eye is 20/20 and the left eye is 20/30. Diagnosis: Amblyopia or “lazy eye”.
Amblyopia is the loss or lack of development of central vision and one eye and usually develops before the age of six. A lazy eye will not go away on its own, and children have a better chance of their vision being corrected if caught early.
My handsome boy was then prescribed a pair of glasses in hope that it will help correct his vision. He wore them daily for two months and returned to the optometrist’s office for a follow up. At that point, he was told to continue wearing the glasses until his next visit. If the glasses didn’t work after the period of a year, they would begin patching therapy and other work to get his “lazy eye” stronger.
We were pleased to hear that his eyes are healthy and developing well. The image above are pictures of his the inner eye. The black lines at the bottom of the image are his eye lashes. It is so great to have the latest in technology available for images like these.
Here are a few things to note regarding children and eye exams:
- According to the American Optometric Association, infants should have their first eye exam between the ages of 6 months to 12 months
- At 3 years old, children should have their first eye exam
- At the age of 5 or 6, it is important for children to have another exam before heading into kindergarten
- From the ages of 2 to 5, parents need to be alert for the presence of vision problems like crossed eyes (Strabismus) or lazy eye (Amblyopia)
- According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have eye or vision problems
- There is a difference between a vision screening, and a vision exam. A vision screening is usually done in the pediatrician’s office or at preschool or kindergarten. A vision exam is a thorough check of the eye and completed with a board certified optometrist
I think the best art of the experience, my handsome boy got to choose his own glasses! We just love them!!!
Now that 2 years have passed, my little man’s eyes have greatly improved! Upon his last eye exam in November, his vision returned to 20/20 in both eyes. Now he doesn’t wear any glasses – it was recommended that he could wear glasses when he reads or is on a device for an extended period of time. We are so happy we caught this early on, and are continuing to get his eyes checked annually. It certainly makes a difference!
For more information regarding eye screenings and eye exams you can visit the American Optometric Association’s Website.
** Also, check out the above video – my handsome boy is a star!