Pediatric Eye Care

The objective with the very young children is to rule out disease and lazy eye. The earlier that treatment for lazy eye or amblyopia can be instituted the better is the outcome. As the child matures, the more refined and detailed the exam becomes.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Vision problems in children and adolescents can cause difficulty with learning, communicating, social activities, and sports. Left untreated, vision problems can become more difficult to correct. Improving the eye health of children and adolescents goes beyond just preventing visual impairment. It can help prevent long-term problems such as delayed development, academic underachievement, and impeded enjoyment of and participation in social activities.”

How old should my child be to have an eye exam?


The following will help outline when examination of young children should take place:

Dr. Teles examines children and infants at any age.

  • Newborns and high-risk newborns are generally checked by a pediatrician or other eye specialist in the hospital nursery.
  • During the infant’s first year a more thorough screening is usually performed on a visit to the pediatrician or an eye doctor with experience in examining young children.
  • Anytime there is any vision or eye concern prior to age three an exam should be scheduled.
  • By age 2 ½ to 3 ½ all children should have a routine professional comprehensive eye health, vision and vision development examination.
  • After the initial examination your doctor will discuss the frequently of return visits based on risk factors. This could range from six months to two years.
  • Screenings by pediatricians or schools are not a substitute for a professional eye exam.

Important things to keep in mind about pediatric eye care:

  • According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) “a school screening or pediatrician screening is not a substitute for a thorough eye examination.”
  • “Vision disorders are the 4th most common disability in the U.S. and leading cause of handicapping conditions in children.”
  • Approximately 75,000 3-year olds have or develop amblyopia each year.
  • Treatment before a 5 is critical, yet only ½ are diagnosed after age 5.

The basic vision skills needed for school use are:

  • Near Vision: The ability to see clearly and comfortably at 10-13 inches.
  • Distance Vision: The ability to see clearly and comfortably beyond arm’s reach.
  • Binocular Coordination: The ability to use both eyes together.
  • Eye Movement Skills: The ability to aim the eyes accurately, move them smoothly across a page and shift them quickly and accurately from one object to another.
  • Focusing Skills: The ability to keep both eyes accurately focused at the proper distance to see clearly and to change focus quickly.
  • Peripheral Awareness: The ability to be aware of things located to the side while looking straight ahead.
  • Form Perception Skills: The ability to discriminate basic shapes.
  • Visual Motor Skills: The ability to reproduce basic shapes with pencil and paper.
  • Eye-hand Coordination: The ability to use the eyes and hands together.

Common symptoms of vision problems of school age children:

  • Loses place while reading
  • Avoids close work
  • Holds reading material closer than normal
  • Tends to rub his or her eyes
  • Has headaches
  • Turns or tilts head to use one eye only
  • Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
  • Uses finger to maintain place when reading
  • Omits or confuses small words when reading
  • Consistently performs below potential
  • Difficulty in learning word recognition

Looking Glass Logo

HORIZON COMPLEX
8028 Ritchie Hwy., Suite 124
Pasadena, MD 21122

Phone: (410) 768-0202
Fax: (410) 768-1330

Monday - Wednesday: 10AM - 6PM
Tuesday - Thursday: 10AM - 8PM
Friday: 9AM - 4PM
Saturday - Sunday: CLOSED