Q: When should a child receive his/her first eye exam?
A: Between 6 months - 12 months old. Dr. Neka starts seeing kiddos at age 4, but will give you a few recommendations for optometrists nearby who specialize in seeing infants for their first exam.
Q: Does my child need an eye exam even if he/she isn’t complaining?
A: Most children, even with very large prescriptions or other ocular anomalies would not complain, as they do not know any different! If there is a large prescription in just one eye or a small eye turn, the brain will essentially learn to IGNORE the vision out of that eye, causing what can become a permanent reduction in vision in that eye.
Q: But my child passed his/her vision screening at the pediatrician's office. Isn’t that good enough?
A: No. Just because a child passes his/her vision screening at school or at the pediatrician’s office, they still need to see an optometrist. Without a dilated eye exam, it is actually impossible for a pediatrician to know if an infant needs glasses or not. For school-aged children, the vision screenings that are done at school are very general, and it is common for certain things to be missed (such as near vision issues) during these screenings. Problems with near vision and near focusing ability can lead to headaches and eyestrain, especially at the end of the day. It is amazing how much a child’s behavior may change and performance in school start to improve once the necessary visual correction is prescribed, if necessary.