August 11, 2022
Vision is fundamental to every child’s development. Without good eyesight, they may miss some key milestones they need to achieve; however, children adapt very easily making it difficult to spot and many parents may not be aware of their visual needs.
Why Get a Vision Test?
Children may not complain about their eyesight, especially when they are very young. They also may not be aware that it is a problem. Some are more prone to frustration and unable to communicate the problem. To avoid this, take them for a vision test at a young age!
How Early Should I Do This?
A child’s first vision test should be as early as six months old. At this age your eye doctor can check a few things to establish the clarity of their vision. They will check the child’s vision skills and look for developmental milestones.
Various test will continue throughout the child life. Keep in mind that vision changes can happen gradually for some and rapidly for others. Genetics also play a big part in vision, parents where both wear glasses are 50% more likely to have a child with a need for glasses correction.
Here is a look at the various vision tests your eye doctor may perform at different ages.
Six Months to Two Years
A baby’s central vision is still developing during their first months. They are also growing the connections between the brain and the retina. As the links come together, they start focusing when you dangle objects in front of them. You will notice this start to happen at around three months.
By six months, they start seeing things in three dimensions and get better at reaching out to catch them. It is at this point you should book their first appointment. Your eye doctor will test these two vision skills. By nine months to one year, they develop their color vision.
Two to Five Years
At this age, your child should be able to focus, follow objects, and reach out for them. The next phase is to check the clarity with which they can see the objects and depth perception. Since the child can now draw and color these abilities help to test their visual acuity.
Since acuity is not only a function of how far they see, they will also check the eyes for misalignment. Strabismus, amblyopia, and convergence insufficiency can cause a child to have blurry or double vision. Eye movement will be assessed, visual refraction, and eye health to establish that all eye parts are functioning as they should.
6 to 18 Years
During this age range, your child is already going to school. They can read, write, and play sports. Hence, they need good hand-eye coordination and eye teaming. Your eye doctor will test these vision skills to ensure they keep up with their education.
The skills also help with other developmental milestones. After establishing that all the visual skills they need are developing as they should, your eye doctor will conduct follow-ups in the form of annual exams. These will continue until they are 18 and into adulthood.
For more information on vision tests for your child, call East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, Washington at (253) 780-0700 today.