Pediatric Optometrist Care
Healthy eyes and vision are especially important for infants and children. The visual skills developed during early life set the foundation for future learning. Early detection of vision problems is critical to helping young people achieve their full potential.
Even if your child is unable to respond or read at his or her age, your OCVT doctor can provide an accurate evaluation using specialized procedures and technology.
Should My Infant or Toddler See a Pediatric Eye Doctor/Optometrist?
The visual skills developed during infancy and post-infancy will serve your child throughout his or her life. Your pediatrician will screen for abnormalities, but to ensure proper vision and eye health development, a comprehensive eye examination by the best pediatric eye doctors (optometrists) is necessary.
The American Optometric Association recommends a complete vision examination at 6 months, 3 years, and 5 years of age. However, a visual condition requiring immediate care may exist if you observe any of the following in your child.
Look for abnormalities such as:
- Redness of the eyes or eyelids
- Crusty or droopy eyelids
- Excessive tears (with or without crying)
- Eye discharge
- Poor focus on objects
- Difficulty turning eyes
- Strange head tilts or turns
- Sores on the eyelids
- White pupils
Also look for signs of discomfort, such as:
- Excessive eye rubbing or blinking
- Closing or covering a single eye
- Holding objects very close to eyes
- Squinting to see clearly
- Avoiding bright light
Early Detection by a Pediatric Developmental Optometrist Is Key
80% of what your child learns is through vision. From birth, your child uses vision for learning and development. Vision then guides motor and cognitive processes as your child begins to reach, grab, crawl, sit-up, play with toys, interpret facial expressions, and watch lip movements when learning how to speak.
Highly integrated with the other systems in the body, problems of the visual system can affect other areas of your child’s development, contributing to specific or overall delays. To facilitate optimal development and learning, visual problems must be identified and treated early.
What Your Infant’s Visit to the Pediatric Eye Specialist Will Be Like
The OCVT vision therapy team has experience welcoming and making families comfortable in our offices. Relax and allow us to make your visit as worry-free as possible.
We carefully incorporate play time for your child to interact and feel comfortable with the doctor during the examination.
Your OCVT doctor has post-doctorate training in pediatric eye care and is residency-certified in the detection and treatment of vision-related learning problems.
To achieve the highest level of accuracy, your OCVT doctor uses specialized, age-appropriate instruments and objective testing procedures that are non- dependent on the response of your child.
In addition to thorough internal and external eye health evaluations, your doctor will analyze the following vision-related learning skills:
- Eye Focusing
- Depth Perception
- Color Perception
- Eye Tracking
- Eye Muscle Teaming
- Peripheral Awareness
- Near Acuity
- Distance Acuity
Your doctor will also test for high refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) or significant differences in prescriptions between the two eyes. These can lead to eye turns or lazy eyes.
Your OCVT doctor will thoroughly discuss your child’s test results and educate you on any recommended interventions, such as vision therapy, prescriptions, vision development activities, and changes in your child’s environment. He or she will also advise you on when your child should be seen again by us or another specialist.
Should My School Age Child or Teen See a Pediatric Eye Specialist?
Vision screenings by pediatricians or school nurses are important to alert parents of visual problems. However, they do not take the place of a complete eye evaluation. Most vision screenings only identify 5% of the vision problems affecting children.
To detect visual deficiencies that affect school and sports performance, the American Optometry Association recommends a complete vision evaluation the summer prior to entering kindergarten. Exams should continue yearly as academic and visual demands increase. If your child exhibits any signs of immediate visual impairment, seek help from a pediatric eye specialist near you.
Undetected Vision Problems
60% of students identified as “problem learners” have undetected vision problems. If not properly tested, vision problems can remain undetected and cause profound learning problems.
Children have no context for comparing the way they see to others, which impairs their ability to communicate or understand vision problems. As a parent, you must diligently monitor your child’s behavior and communicate openly about difficulties reading, seeing, and completing schoolwork.
What Your Post-Infancy Child’s Visit to the Pediatric Eye Specialist Will Be Like
As a child develops the ability to speak and communicate ideas, he or she is better able to help the doctor diagnose visual impairment. Unlike an infant’s experience at OCVT, a child’s experience will be more communicative and comprehensive.
Your child will undergo a more sophisticated examination that may include:
- Case History – To help determine if your child is working up to his or her potential, your doctor will review your child’s academic, personal, medical, and developmental history.
- Testing –Hands-on testing will include the use of specialized instruments designed to evaluate your child’s vision, a comprehensive eye health evaluation, and a close look at the same vision-related skills listed under the infant section of this page.
Following the exam, your doctor will evaluate the results of the tests and formulate recommendations for further treatment based on those results. Your doctor will share his or her professional opinion and offer you options for continuing to improve your child’s visual and cognitive function.
Put Your Child’s Care in the Hands of the Best Pediatric Eye Doctors Near You
OCVT’s extremely experienced team takes no chances when ensuring that infants and children have the chance they deserve to see and perceive the world at maximum capacity. Our pediatric optometry is a source of pride for our organization, and we want to show you what a difference we can make in your child’s life.
Bring your concerns about your infant or toddler’s vision to us today and we’ll start finding the best way to treat his or her visual problems for good.