We were fortunate enough to ask Dr. Rupali Mistry some questions about Pediatric Eye Care. Here is part 1 of what she had to say:
Q: Why is it important for children to have their eyes examined?
Good vision and ocular health is key for a child’s development, success in school and overall well-being. It is extremely important for children to have their eyes examined at a young age. This allows early detection of ocular conditions, lazy eye/amblyopia, eye turn, focusing problems, eye/hand coordination, etc. If problems are detected, early intervention can help effectively treat and/or prevent them from worsening.
Q: At what age should a child have his or her first eye doctor’s appointment?
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), a child’s first eye exam should be at 6 months, then at age 3 and 5 if all results are normal. It is recommended to have a yearly eye exam after the age of 5.
Q: Are there any signs that a child should have his or her eyes checked?
There are many different signs that indicated that a child should have their eyes examined; some of which include an eye turn, frequent HA, squinting, head tilt, watery eyes, rubbing eyes, and increased light sensitivity.
Q: Describe something – a technique or technology – that makes a pediatric eye exam or pediatric eye care different from adult eye care.
Pediatric eye exams are different than an adult comprehensive eye exam in the equipment we use. With children, we do not require as many subjective responses. For example, instead of your typical refraction behind the phoropter (answering which is better 1 or 2), doctors will perform retinoscopy where a light is shined in the child’s eye which will allow the assessment of the prescription.
Q: What do you look for in during a pediatric eye exam?
When performing a pediatric eye exam, we are looking for any eye turn or significant prescription which can lead to a lazy eye. We are looking for any ocular condition that can halt or slow down the normal development of the eye, such as congenital cataracts to name one.
For more information on Pediatric Eye Care and what to expect, click here.