Pediatric Eye Doctors & Children Vision Care Centers
From birth to about age 4, our eyes develop rapidly. Your pediatric eye doctor should provide a regular eye exam during these early years. We recommend a thorough comprehensive children's eye exam with one of our eye doctors before each child starts school. This will rule out any vision abnormalities that can affect learning.
- Birth to age 4:
Children should have an annual eye screening with the pediatric eye doctor.
- Age 5:
Prior to starting school, each child should have a comprehensive eye examination by a pediatric eye doctor.
- After age 6:
Children with diagnosed problems should be examined yearly by their optometrist. Those without problems should have a children’s eye exam every two years who develop headaches, or trouble reading or learning, should be examined immediately.
- Children’s prescription glasses or contacts require: An annual eye exam by a pediatric eye doctor to screen for vision.
Recognizing Potential Eye Problems
There are many signs that your child may have a vision problem. If you notice any of the following, contact your local North Carolina eye doctor at Doctors Vision Center to set up an examination with one of our experienced pediatric eye doctors:
- Constant eye rubbing
- Light sensitivity
- Poor visual tracking (following an object)
- Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes
- An eye turning in (squint) or out (wall-eye)
- Chronic redness
- Chronic tearing
- Poor focusing
- A white pupil instead of black
In school-age children, watch for other signs such as:
- Difficulty seeing objects at a distance (reading a blackboard)
- Difficulty seeing objects close up (reading)
- Difficulty learning
A standard vision screening does not always reveal common eye conditions affecting children’s vision care. We recommend a thorough eye examination for each child prior to starting school. Common vision problems in children are:
Refractive errors are the most common eye conditions and are generally easily treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Nearsighted (trouble seeing at distance), farsighted (trouble seeing at near), and astigmatism (blur at all distances), are the three types of refractive error.
Strabismus is a misalignment of the eyes; eyes may turn in, out, up, or down. If the eyes are chronically misaligned, amblyopia may develop in one eye. With early detection, strabismus can be treated preventing amblyopia. Generally, strabismus is detected in a well child visit with the pediatrician.
Amblyopia (lazy eye) is poor vision in an eye that appears to be normal. Two common causes are crossed eyes and a substantial difference in prescription between the two eyes. If untreated, amblyopia can cause irreversible visual loss in the affected eye. It is critically important that the child’s pediatrician is screening the child early for normal visual acuity. It is critical that amblyopia is diagnosed and treated in the very early years (before age 4) as it may not be easily treatable after age 4.