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Scott Burge, OD
Eye Examinations For Your Child
Maryland Eye Associates
. http://marylandeyeassociates.com

Eye Examinations For Your Child

Should my child have an eye examination at the beginning of the school year? Well, the answer from the doctors at Eye Associates is; absolutely yes, however, not necessarily every year. Your child may or may not have normal vision and healthy eyes. But how do you as a parent know? Obviously you cant know for sure without a doctors examination. All too often a parent is dumbfounded and sometimes shocked to observe his or her child only being able to see the “big E” on the eye chart at the beginning of an examination. A sense of guilt sets in and the immediate question to follow is, “How long has my childs vision been like this?” No parent knowingly sends his or her child off to school with blurred vision. Furthermore, it is not just distance vision that needs to be verified. Sometimes the child who sees “20/20” avoids reading and studying because of near point focusing difficulty. How are you as a parent to know if everything is okay? Of the various medical issues that parents face with their children, eye examinations are uncomplicated, affordable and provide immediate answers and results. Given the effort and expense invested to educate our children, ruling out vision problems should be at the top of the list when preparing for a new school year. Blurred vision and poor focusing ability cause eye strain, fatigue and headaches. Concentration and attention span in the classroom are reduced. Comprehension and learning speed are slower when vision problems are left undetected and untreated.
If your child is found to need eyeglasses, then a yearly examination is indicated until there is no change in prescription from the previous year. Once a prescription is stable, examination every two years is usually fine. If your child is found to have no need of glasses, normal vision and healthy eyes, then checking again in two or three years is usually fine. A key point to keep in mind is that once normal vision, performance and health have been verified by a doctor, then you as a parent can usually rely on your childs symptoms to let you know if an exam is indicated. However, if the onset of blurred vision started anytime from pre-school through early elementary, that child will not readily appreciate or know what the difference is between clear vs. blurred vision. That child will not complain. So, if your child has never had an eye examination, you should schedule one. Children can be examined at any age. Even toddlers and preschoolers can be examined to verify normal function or detect that previously undiagnosed problem that can have significant consequences during the all important formative years.

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