Despite normal variations between kids and their senses, all children take in their world through their eyes and are visual learners to some extent. This is why Midwest Eye Associates believes that thorough eye examinations for kids are critical to learning and development, and encourages parents to be very serious about having regular eye exams for their children.
Children should receive eye exams around 1, 3 and 5 years of age. The first exam is to ensure the eyes’ normal development. At age 3, it is easier to determine a child’s true prescription because they can verbalize thoughts about their eyes and vision. And, most importantly, an eye exam before entering school is critical to the learning process. Children need good vision to learn properly. Without good sight, you may find your child will fall behind in school despite his/her best efforts. Dr. Seth Bachelier adds, “Kids don’t always tell their parents when they have trouble seeing. Sometimes kids are not even aware they don’t have good vision until they get a thorough eye exam. This is why exams at all the proper times are important even if your child never complains of vision problems.”
Pediatric exams are also important for detecting conditions that can easily be treated in childhood, but may become more complicated if not detected and treated at an early stage. The eyes and the brain work together very closely and, similar to muscles in our body, a child’s brain can be strengthened and conditioned. So, if a visual problem or deficit exists, such as in conditions like strabismus or amblyopia, recognizing and treating it in a timely manner is crucial to developing normal vision in adulthood. We can also learn a lot about patients' overall health beyond the eyes through a comprehensive eye exam, and children are no different. When visual problems are revealed in adolescence, it can often shed light on other important health issues.
Midwest Eye Associates is also a proud participate in the InfantSee program. Dr. Brad Byergo is very excited about this program and it's ability to help his community, stating, “InfantSee is a fantastic program! It offers one comprehensive eye exam free of charge to children less than 1 year of age. This is an important health initiative recognized by the state of Missouri and plenty of other states. The earlier a child’s vision is evaluated, the better the prognosis for normal vision later in life.”