We rely on our vision for almost everything in our daily lives, and proper eye care is crucial for overall health, especially when it comes to children. An eye examination for your children can disclose much more to their optometrist than simply what their prescription is. Your optometrist is a highly trained medical professional who is also examining your children’s eyes for signs of healthy ocular development and potential indicators of disease. It is recommended that your child get their first eye examination when they are 6 months of age, with the next exam scheduled when they are 3 years of age, with annual eye examinations in the years to follow.
Children are especially important patients for comprehensive eye examinations because of a few reasons. The first is that due to their young age, a child may not know whether or not their vision is “normal”. A child who was born with very blurry vision will know only that view of their world and will likely be unable to report that their vision is not healthy. An eye examination from your optometrist will be able to determine if your child’s vision is healthy. Otherwise, performance at school, in sports, or other activities may be affected, potentially in a dangerous manner. Our vision is usually our first sense in how we perceive the world, so it’s crucial to ensure its health from an early age.
Second, an eye examination can indicate the presence of several diseases. Did you know that optometrists are often the first healthcare professionals to detect the presence of diabetes? Chronic systemic diseases like diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels all over the body, and since an optometrist has an unobstructed view of the blood vessels in the eye during an eye exam, they can often detect the signs of systemic diseases like diabetes before other healthcare professionals.
Finally, behavioural issues in your child can actually be caused by something as simple as poor vision. If your child is having trouble focusing on daily tasks or with basic motor skills, there may be an issue with your child’s vision. An eye examination can detect these issues so your optometrist can prescribe the means to correct them.
Due to the prevalence of technology and the abundance of screens that children are exposed to, their eyes are under more strain, and require regular check-ups to ensure proper ocular health. We often forget to schedule eye examinations because our eyes often do not give us noticeable indications that they may be in poor health. The situation is prevalent even more so for children because they cannot self-report to the same accuracy that an adult can. By scheduling a comprehensive eye examination for your children with your optometrist, you’re making a key commitment to their overall health. The costs for an annual eye examination for children under the age of 20 are covered under OHIP, so a regular eye examination schedule should be made with your optometrist’s office today.