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Why Eye Screening is Important for School-Age Children

April 4, 2016

From the time that we are born, our eyesight slowly develops until adulthood. Babies and children, for instance, do not have fully formed vision centers in their brains yet. Good nutrition, regular visits to a health care practitioner and healthy habits are important in ensuring that a child’s vision develops normally. This is why eye screening is very important in key stages of development. Eye screening in children allows for potential problems to be detected and corrected in the early stages.

At the Beach Eye Medical Group, we recognize the importance of early assessment, detection and correction of any vision problems in children. We believe that good vision is important to help young people achieve their dreams. This is why we are committed to helping children living in and around Huntington Beach and Irvine, California, get their vision checked during key life stages.

When should eye screening be done?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye screening during the following ages:

  • Newborn: All newborn babies should undergo a professional eye examination by a licensed health care professional. For babies who belong to the high-risk population (i.e. premature, or have signs of other abnormalities, etc.) a pediatric ophthalmologist should be called in for a more comprehensive assessment.
  • Infant: Babies should be re-assessed between the 6th and 12th month of life to check that their eyes are developing normally.
  • Pre-School: Before a child enters school, it is recommended that he/she be seen by a pediatrician or ophthalmologist to check the following:
    • Visual Acuity Test. The child’s ability to adjust to distances (near, middle and far) is assessed. At this stage, some children may be diagnosed as far-sighted but do not necessarily require corrective glasses or intervention.
    • Refractive or Alignment Test. If misaligned or refractive errors are detected by an ophthalmologist, early treatment is recommended to prevent vision deterioration.
  • School-Age: As children are expected to fully utilize their eyesight, it is crucial for them to undergo eye screening just before starting formal school. A common finding is nearsightedness or myopia, which can be easily corrected with eyeglasses.

While some schools do offer vision screening, these screenings are not as thorough as a comprehensive eye examination like the ones we offer at Beach Eye Medical Group. More often than not, a routine vision screening only assesses the child’s ability to read small letters on a chart. This is simply not enough to detect other, potentially more serious eye conditions that may affect a child’s ability to read, track or focus.

Comprehensive eye screenings for children

The expert eye care team at Beach Eye Medical Group offers comprehensive eye and vision screening at any of the crucial childhood stages mentioned above. Our team of licensed ophthalmologists, optometrists, and eye surgeons are trained in handling and assessing any eye-related diseases found in children.

At Beach Eye Medical Group, we strongly believe that prevention is better than cure. Visit either of our facilities in Irvine or Huntington Beach, California, to find out more about our school eye screening procedures.