At the Peek of Health
Your child’s eyes are among the most important tools for her development. Don’t let vision problems stand in the way of your child’s success.
Lately, your son’s grades have started slipping unexpectedly. Your daughter complains of headaches when she studies for long periods. Your middle-schooler is always closing one eye to read something. These are all potential signs of a vision problem, which vary from nearsightedness or farsightedness to amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (misaligned eyes) or even cataracts.
Protecting Their Peepers
Newborns can’t tell you when there’s something wrong with their eyesight. Even older children learn to compensate for vision problems and may not know to tell parents. That’s why routine eye exams are essential in catching vision deficits early.
“Trust your instincts if you feel your child might have an eye problem,” says Gregg Lueder, MD, a Washington University pediatric ophthalmologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “The earlier in life an eye problem is treated, the easier it is to correct.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vision screening by a pediatrician beginning at birth, followed by regular screening during well-child evaluations as the child grows. If abnormalities are detected, the child should be referred to an ophthalmologist familiar with pediatric eye diseases.