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Through the eyes of a child – the importance of an early eye exam

It seems amazing what we often take for granted. We expect the sun to appear every morning in the east; we expect the grocery store will always have an endless supply of the foods we need; and we expect our eyes to guide us through our lifetime protecting us from danger and providing the beauty of the world around us.

To add to these expectations, as parents, we just assume our children will have good vision. Why not, they seem perfect to us in so many other ways, why not their eyes?! Unfortunately this is not always the case. Poor vision in children can contribute to such problems as attention deficit, poor motor skills, learning disorders, and behavioral challenges. These issues can lead to even bigger problems as the child matures

As a child grows, from birth until about 6 years old, the visual cortex is creating the nerve network that will be used for the rest of the individual’s life. If a child’s vision is poor and not corrected by the age of 6, there will likely be deficits in their visual system. These deficits can create all kinds of difficulties for the child as they grow.

In order to assist the growth of the child and assure the proper development of their visual cortex, a thorough eye exam should be performed by someone who specializes in pediatric vision. Children’s needs are unique from those of adults, and the tests used to determine the health of their eyes are also quite different.

An ideal time for a child’s eye exam is between 3 and 5 years old. Children at this age can communicate clearly and if there are any problems they can be treated or resolved before the challenges they face in first grade. An optometrist that specializes in pediatric eye care is usually the best choice for a thorough eye exam, because most children don’t have issues that require an M.D.  If one is required, the optometrist will select an ophthalmologist who is appropriate for the child’s particular needs.

As parents, we want the best for our children, and that includes perfect vision. But don’t assume that is the case. Have a thorough eye exam performed by the age of five. Addressing optical issues early can prevent a multitude of challenges later in life.

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Treasure Coast Opticians

Treasure Coast Opticians
715 17th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Call 772-569-4822
Open M-F 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday by Appointment

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