Eye exams for children by optometrists
Vision is one of the major elements in newborn development. Using its eyesight, a newborn is able to explore its environment on its own, helping it to grow and develop. It is therefore important to take care of a young child’s eyes by making an appointment with an optometrist. An expert will perform an eye exam and will prescribe eyeglasses and sunglasses as needed, to help with any sight problems the child may have.
Detecting signs before consulting an optometrist
The child is naturally unable to communicate feelings of discomfort or vision problems. It is up to adults, and especially parents, to pay attention to the child’s behaviour. In the same way, teachers must keep a close eye on unusual behaviours related to vision in their young students in the classroom. So, how do you know if you need to take your child to an optometrist?
Here are some relevant signs. The child is constantly rubbing its eyes and blinking, has unusually narrowed eyelids and is having trouble following certain moving objects. If you also notice the eyes tearing up when exposed to light or when you cover one eye, take them to the optometrist to treat these symptoms as soon as possible.
The first eye exams
At birth, newborns are examined for possible eye diseases. It is then strongly recommended to consult an optometrist for an annual eye exam between the ages of 0 and 7 years, when changes to the eyes are the most significant. Unfortunately, two out of three children go to school without being examined, often resulting in problems with concentration. It is necessary to do a comprehensive vision test before they start school, especially since expenses are entirely covered by the RAMQ. The child can then wear prescription eyeglasses as it grows up, so that its vision does not deteriorate.
The role of the optometrist in adolescence
The period of adolescence is synonymous with both physical and mental changes. Needless to say, vision is not immune to these changes. The blue light from computers and telephones is very dangerous for eye health in younger people, and an eye exam by an optometrist is absolutely essential. Here are some symptoms: discomfort that results in headaches and tightness in the eye, excessive fatigue, difficulty in thinking, blurred or split vision when looking from a distance, etc.
When should you start wearing eyeglasses?
Even if a teenager has never suffered vision impairment during childhood, physiological changes in adolescence require more attention. The optometrist will examine the sight of these young people and prescribe eyeglasses and sunglasses as needed. If the teenager is already suffering from an eye disease, your optometrist will determine the frequency and type of examination. The RAMQ covers these expenses up until the age of 17.
At VU Eyewear in Montreal, our optometrists and opticians take care of young children and teenagers. Make an appointment for an eye exam for your child.