The Importance of Early Childhood Eye Exams

The importance of early childhood eye exams

The importance of having your child’s eyes examined while they are very young is to detect any visual problems and or conditions that may impact their life and correct them. The earlier the detection the better the chance a child has to improve or save their vision.

The earlier the detection of ocular disorders in children better it is to avoid lifelong visual impairment. The American Academy of Pediatrics or the AAP says beginning with the newborn period eye examination should be performed at all well-child visits. According to the AAP, newborns should be checked for ocular structural abnormalities. What they are looking for are cataracts, corneal opacity, and ptosis. These disorders are known to result in visual problems for children.

The AAP the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, all endorse vision basement beginning at birth. Children who are discovered to have an ocular abnormality or children who fail vision assessment should then be referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist or an appropriately trained eye care specialist who treats pediatric patients.

The American Optometric Association believes the importance of early eye examinations in children will detect and treat a problem before it begins to interfere with learning. The American Optometric Association also recommends that periodic vision examinations for infants, toddlers and preschoolers be performed. Vision exams can ascertain a child’s visual acuity. Vision exams are also essential in early childhood, detecting visual or physical problems than can have an effect on vision and learning.

There are six visual problems and eye conditions early eye exam can detect:


Myopia is a vision problem where students cannot clearly see objects at a distance. Near vision, however, is normal. For this reason, myopia is also called nearsightedness.


Hyperopia is a vision problem where students cannot clearly see objects at a close range. Vision at a distance, however, is normal. Hyperopia is sometimes called farsightedness.


Presbyopia is a physical problem with the lens of the eye that causes difficulty with seeing close up.


Astigmatism is a condition where a student’s vision is blurry both far away and close up. Vision has the appearance of an out-of-focus projector. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea of the eye is irregularly shaped.


Amblyopia is sometimes called “lazy eye.” This condition involves poorly developed central vision in one eye that cannot be corrected with glasses. Both eyes have different levels of visual acuity.


Strabismus is sometimes called crossed eyes. It occurs when the eyes do not track and work in tandem and usually is caused by muscle coordination problems.

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