Did you know that 1 out of every 4 children have vision problems that interfere with learning? Your school-age child's eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. Studies show that over 80% of what a child learns is through their eyes! When his or her vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in sports can suffer. Don't assume your child has good vision because he or she passed a school vision screening. A 20/20 score means only that your child can see at 20 feet what he or she should be able to see at that distance. It does not measure any of the other vision skills needed for learning. If any of these or other vision skills is lacking or not functioning properly, your child's eyes have to work harder and they may fall behind in school. Be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision problem. Note if your child frequently:
- Loses his or her place while reading.
- Avoids close work.
- Holds reading material closer than normal.
- Tends to rub his or her eyes.
- Has headaches.
- Turns or tilts their head to use one eye only.
- Makes reversals when reading or writing.
- Uses a finger to maintain their place while reading.
- Omits or confuses small words when reading.
- Performs below potential.
- Closes one eye while reading.
- Has a short attention span, is hyperactive or clumsy.
Dr. Tarr recommends that you bring your baby in to Tarr Eye & Vision Center for their first eye examination at 6 months of age. Vision screenings and Well-Baby visits with your Pediatrician are also important for your babies health, but they should not be substituted for a thorough eye examination by Dr. Tarr.
Why Are Infant Eye Exams Important?
- 1 in 10 children are at risk for undiagnosed vision problems.
- 1 in 30 children will be affected by amblyopia – often referred to a lazy eye – a leading cause of vision loss in people younger than 45 years old.
- 1 in 25 will develop strabismus – more commonly known as crossed-eyes – a risk factor for amblyopia.
- 1 in 33 will show significant refractive error such as far-sightedness, near-sightedness and astigmatism.
- 1 in 100 will exhibit evidence of eye disease – e.g. glaucoma.
- 1 in 20,000 children have retinoblastoma (intraocular cancer) the seventh most common pediatric cancer.
- Blocked tear ducts are very common.
- Bacterial conjunctivitis is common.
We recommend you bring your infant in just after a nap and hold off on the bottle until the examination.
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