This is a question that we get a lot!!
A common misconception parents have is that a vision screening at their child’s school and/or a vision check at the Pediatrician’s office is the same as an eye exam. Vision Screenings are not the same as an Eye Exam because Vision Screenings are vision tests that are designed to ONLY check to see if a child is able to read the eye chart…they do not check for visual development problems or eye health issues.
Many children may have eye health or vision problems and still be able to pass a school vision screening or Pediatrician vision screening. Some eye health or vision problems may go undetected with a vision screening….many of these vision problems need to be detected long before age 7 to prevent permenant lifelong vision problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia) or eye turn (strabismus).
Your child should have an eye exam at ANY age if a problem is suspected. Believe it or not, an eye examination can be performed on an infant, as young as one day old. A pediatric eye doctor (Optometrist or Opthalmologist) can determine if a infant or very young child has any vision or eye health problems by using computerized testing – there is no need for the child to be able to communicate verbally during the exam.
At Visionary Eyecare we like to begin seeing children at age 4. Visionary Eyecare has 2 South Florida eye clinic locations in Broward County for your convenience – Pembroke Pines (Next to Lenscrafters), and Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters – INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall). If you think your child has a vision or eye health problem BEFORE age 4 – please give us a call at any of our locations and we will be happy to refer you to a pediatric optometrist or ophthalmologist that can perform an exam on your child.
When scheduling an eye exam for your child – it is important to ask if the doctor’s office is set up to deliver vision tests to examine children. Not all eye doctors are equipped or feel comfortable performing eye exams on young children.
It is essential that your child has an eye exam by an EYE DOCTOR at least by age 4 or 5 – before entering kindergarten. Many forms of blindness or lazy eye (amblyopia) can be prevented if detected early AND corrected.