Many parents are curious about when they should take their children to the Ophthalmologist (or eye M.D.). Back-to-School time is a great time to consider a routine eye exam for your child.
How Often Should Children Have Eye Exams?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that all newborn children have an eye exam, and additional eye exams at all of their routine checkups.
What does an eye exam detect in children?
Between the ages of 3 and 5, children should have yearly screening tests to detect a number of conditions, including:
- lazy eye (amblyopia)
- misaligned eyes (strabismus)
- problems with visual acuity
After age 5, the AAO recommends screening every 1 to 2 years.
An Eye Care Specialist Makes All the Difference
Eye exams administered by an eye specialist / Ophthalmologist (as opposed to a general-care physician) are recommended — especially if a child of any age has a family history of:
- eye diseases
- misaligned eyes
- lazy eye
- red, swollen eye(s)
- or cloudy eye(s)
Additionally, an Ophthalmologist will want to check the vision of any children and teens that have refractive errors at least once a year. Children and teens with a disease that affects the eyes should follow their eye M.D.’s advice and schedule visits accordingly.