Pediatric Vision Care
At left Dr. Young performs an InfantSee examination on an 8 month old boy at our Newport office. At Opticare Vision Centers, we believe in early eye exams to detect and treat vision problems. Typically we see children between 6 and 12 months of age at the earliest. Studies show that 1 in 4 children have an undiagnosed vision problem that could impact their ability to learn. Read more about pediatric vision care below.
Vision in the broadest sense, is the global ability of the brain to extract, process and act on information presented to the eye. This complex process can be thought of as three major but related areas: visual acuity, which is largely dependent upon refractive status and eye health; visual efficiency skills, representing eye focusing, teaming, and tracking skills; and visual information processing, representing the ability to recognize and discriminate visual stimuli and to interpret them correctly based upon previous experience. Every examination we provide for children, regardless of the child’s age, has these thoughts in mind.
Many vision problems can be corrected more easily with early diagnosis and treatment. Reports have estimated that 1 in 4 students in grades K – 6 have a vision-related problem, which may contribute to poor school performance. The visual system matures rapidly during the first few years and it is important to identify any problems that may interfere with normal vision development.
Examinations for Toddlers and School-aged Children
A comprehensive eye examination will assess visual acuity, refractive status, ocular health, eye tracking, eye focusing, and eye teaming. Visual acuity measures how clearly a child sees objects. Refractive status measures for nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. The child is evaluated for any eye health problems, including active pathology or congenital anomalies. Eye tracking is the ability of the eyes to fixate, smoothly follow and look between objects or printed words. Eye focusing is the ability to efficiently change and sustain focus while reading. Eye teaming is the ability to coordinate both eyes accurately and without fatigue or excessive effort. Accurate eye teaming is also important for accurate two-eyed depth perception or stereopsis. Early detection and management is recommended to prevent vision loss or eye disease and to provide appropriate vision development. Some children may need further evaluation in our binocular vision clinicif they are having difficulty with eye teaming.
Hand – Eye Coordination
As part of the visual examination we also assess vision development. Young children use vision to explore the world by identifying and directing movement. If a problem in vision is preventing adequate development of perception and eye-hand coordination skills then early intervention is vital. Often times a child with eye problems is first diagnosed with ADHD or other disorder prior to having an eye exam. It is only after we examine the eyes that we find the child has trouble with attention due to one or both of the eyes not working properly together.
We are an InfantSEE® provider. InfantSEE®, a public health program, managed by Optometry Cares® – The AOA Foundation, is designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. Under this program, AOA optometrists provide a comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants within the first year of life regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage. Currently we schedule infant patients with Dr. Young. To schedule your InfantSEE® exam, call the Newport office at (859) 491-1010.