When babies are born, they have very poor version and can only see up to a few feet in front of their faces for the first several months of life. This is completely normal, and vision will continue to develop quickly in their first few years of life. So, if infants naturally have poor vision, is there really any benefit to taking them to a pediatric eye doctor in Orlando for an exam? When is this something that you should consider? Keep reading to find out more.
First, it’s important to be aware that your baby will likely have a basic eye exam before you leave the hospital. This is part of their overall wellness examination that clears your baby to be checked out and taken home. This is a very simple exam that ensures the baby’s eyes look healthy and respond normally to light. Because newborns can’t track movement with their eyes or truly focus on objects yet, there won’t be any in-depth attempt to test these kinds of things. However, if the doctor at the hospital suspects that there is an eye health issue present from birth, they may recommend that you take your infant to an optometrist for a more thorough exam after you leave the hospital.
If your baby is cleared at the hospital and there are no concerns for their eye health, you likely don’t need to take them to an optometrist in the first year of their life, unless a problem arises that you’re concerned about. Most pediatricians will perform basic visual acuity tests at your child’s annual wellness checkup, and they can inform you of any worrisome developments that may need the attention of an optometrist.
However, you shouldn’t rely solely on these exams for your child’s visual health. Visual acuity is only a part of overall eye health, and most pediatricians aren’t equipped to fully examine children’s eyes for these other kinds of problems. Most children should see an optometrist before they start school, at the very latest. This can help to ensure that any issues with visual acuity are addressed before they’re expected to be able to focus on a board at the front of the classroom.
Keep in mind that the sooner you take your child to an optometrist, the more comfortable they’ll be with annual visits, and the better equipped they’ll be to communicate any changes in their vision.
If you have a family history of eye health problems, or even a simple family history of needing corrective lenses early in life, you should take your child in to see an optometrist sooner rather than later—perhaps even in that first year of life. For example, if one parent had a lazy eye as a child, you should make sure that your own children get seen by an optometrist within the first couple of years of life. The earlier a lazy eye is detected, the easier it is to correct. Early examinations for hereditary eye health conditions are essential to ensuring that your child’s vision receives the care that it needs.
If your child has yet to visit an optometrist, it may be a good idea to seek professional eye care in Orlando, FL, as soon as you can. Eye exams early in life are a key part of ensuring overall health and well-being, and preventing more complex eye health issues down the road. Contact Bay Hill Eye Care today to schedule an eye exam with our experienced pediatric optometrists.