Why do I need an eye exam?

Visual Acuity can shift sometimes without you even realizing it. Even a little change in prescription can cause headaches or eyestrain.Visual Acuity can shift sometimes without you even realizing it. Even a little change in prescription can cause headaches or eyestrain.

Developmental Problems

Uncorrected vision in children can lead to amblyopia, reduced vision that may not be improved, even with glasses. Kids can also have strabismus, where the eye rests nasally or temporally, rather than working with the other eye to give good depth perception. Children can pass school vision screenings with 20/20 vision and still have ocular muscle troubles that can impede learning. Other congenital abnormalities can be checked as well, congenital cataracts & congenital glaucoma.

Eye Diseases

Several eye diseases have absolutely no symptoms. Glaucoma is a great example of this, but even dry macular degeneration and cataracts can progress slowly and sneak some vision loss. Diabetes can cause bleeding and other symptoms in the eye. Sometimes diabetes hasn't been diagnosed until bleeding is detected during the retinal examination.

What's the difference between vision screenings and vision examinations

Vision screenings are limited and cannot be used to diagnose an eye or vision problem, but rather to indicate a potential need for further evaluation.

Many vision screenings test for visual acuity only. According to a study funded by the National Eye Institute, even with highly trained screeners, 1/3 of children with eye or vision disorders can be missed. A child may be able to see an eye chart 20 feet away, but their vision up close when reading a book may be reduced, or there could be a health issue or vision perception problem.

Less than 50% of children who were identified in screenings as needing a full eye exam, actually received that care. The average time between the recommendation for the eye exam and the scheduled exam is 18 months. In a complete eye examination, visual acuity is measured at multiple distances. Focusing or accommodation, the ability to shift focus from up close to far away and back with accuracy and comfort, is measured. Visual alignment and ocular motility, the way the muscles aim, both converging and diverging together which helps with depth perception. Eye Tracking can be measured to make sure a child can accurately track the letters across the page. Color vision can be evaluated, ocular health is evaluated.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that a child receive a comprehensive eye exam at 6 months old, three years old, upon entering school, and every two years thereafter. Good vision is an important part of education. Many experts believe 80% of learning is done through a child's eyes. Reading, computer use and overheads, chalk boards, and white boards are all visual tasks students perform every day. A child's eyes are always at use in the classroom. If your child's vision is not working properly, learning and class participation will suffer.

Could your child have a vision problem?

Does your Pre-Schooler:

  • Have an eye that ever appears to be out of proper alignment?
  • Tend to bump into objects?
  • Have red eyes or lids?
  • Rub eyes frequently?
  • Have excess tearing?
  • Turn or tilt head to use one eye only?
  • Have encrusted eyelids?
  • Have frequent styes?
  • Avoid coloring, puzzles or detailed activities?
  • Experience difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination?

Does your School-Aged Child:

  • Lose place while reading?
  • Avoid Close work?
  • Hold reading material closer than normal or shift the reading distance?
  • Tend to rub eyes?
  • Have headaches?
  • Turn or tilt head to use only one eye?
  • Make frequent reversals when reading or writing?
  • Use finger to maintain place when reading?
  • Omit or confuse small words when reading?
  • Consistently perform below potential?
  • Struggle to complete homework