Importance of visual examinations in childhood

The sense of sight is one that allows us to know the world. Through it we understand the information of what surrounds us. By doing visual exams in childhood we can prevent problems in the eyes of our children.

By visual tests we mean identify any eye condition or disability early that may cause a vision loss problem. Here we explain what tests you should do and the problems you can prevent by doing them.

Possible signs of eye discomfort in children

Symptoms of eye problems in children depend on the conditions they present. We point out the most common ones, so that you take it into account and you can guide yourself before going to the medical professional for a check-up.

Refraction problem

Refraction problems refer to the wrong focus of the eye at certain distances. There are three varieties: astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia.

Myopia can cause confusion of objects at a more or less distant distance, the need to get closer to see or read, squint for long distances, squint to focus, and look at screens very closely.

Astigmatism causes almost the same thing, although with a headache and a manifestation of blurred vision in a close way.

In the case of hyperopia, can be manifested by tilting the head back to see better, squinting to focus, headache when doing activities that use near vision, and strabismus.

Children who squint to improve their focus have a refractive problem that needs to be addressed.

Read also: Hyperopia in children: how to detect it?

Strabismus or misalignment of the eyes

Strabismus is when the eyes do not look in the same directionInstead, there is a loss of parallelism between the two eyeballs. That is the main sign.

In addition, they align their heads to the side to look at specific points, wink or rub their eyes regularly, and twist or close their eyes to focus.

Lazy eye

The one also called amblyopia it is a reduced ability of vision with minimal visual acuity. It manifests itself with headache or pain in the cervical region. There is confusion of letters or words when reading.

Who can perform the eye exam?

Vision can be examined by a pediatrician, family physician, ophthalmologist, or any personnel qualified to evaluate vision. These exams are offered in schools, health care centers and specialized hospitals.

Eye exams recommended by age

It is advisable to do periodic examinations to determine if the little one suffers from eye problems and treat them in time. See which are the optimal ones according to their age.

Newly born

The reality is that newborns have minimal visual ability. They only focus well on objects 20 or 30 centimeters away. This is normal and the qualified professional to examine it that you choose will point it out to you.

To ensure that everything is in order, the red reflex test should be performed. If the light shining in each eye does not reflect this color, the child may need more tests.

You should also do the pupil response test. It is done to reveal the state of the retina and the optic nerve. Another test that is usually done is to see if the baby blinks when one eye lights up.

6 to 12 months

From 6 months on, babies begin to distinguish faces and depth, as well as primary and secondary colors. Between these months the previous exams should be done and check the alignment and movement of the eyes.

12 months to 36

Between these months it is usual that exams are applied to determine if you have amblyopia or lazy eye.

3 to 5 years

Between these ages the child's vision and eye alignment should be checked. The visual acuity test is done as soon as the child learns to read. It will seek to know if you have strabismus, amblyopia or refractive errors.

from 5 years

From that age it should be checked if the child suffers from myopia, since it is a common problem in pediatrics. Also Visual acuity and alignment tests must be arranged.

Distance reading card tests imply that the child can read. Anyway, they can be done earlier with shapes.

Discover: Prevent myopia with natural remedies: is it possible?

Importance of visual examinations in childhood

As the sense of sight is so important for the proper development of people in society, it is important to take care of it. There are alterations that can be corrected more easily if they are treated in time, like lazy eye, which if not diagnosed and addressed in childhood can last into adulthood.

So, it is most recommended that our son go to the ophthalmologist from 6 months to receive the necessary visual examinations in childhood.

If you notice that your little one has any signs of the most common visual diseases, that he does not function well at school or complains of some other problem associated with vision, do not hesitate to go to a trusted professional soon.