It’s August, which means you’re likely to find many parents scouring online ads and store shelves for the best back to school deals on backpacks and lunch boxes. But it’s important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your kids, too. August is Children’s Eye Health Month, so start the year off right with healthy eyes and clear vision so they can whiz through their school day with ease.
Things to look for if you suspect vision troubles
Most pediatricians will begin routine eye exams during their annual well-child visits beginning at age three. If you or your doctor suspect vision problems or have other eye health concerns, they will recommend you visit an ophthalmologist for further testing. Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (crossed eyes), color blindness and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) are the most common conditions that can affect a child’s eyesight.
“It’s important that all children are screened by an eyecare professional by the age of 5,” explains Dr. Armitage Haprer. “In addition, if there’s a family history of any retinal disease, like retinoblastoma, Stickler’s disease, or Marfan’s Disease, then each child should be screened at birth.”
Here are some common things to watch for, so you’ll know if your child is struggling with their vision:
- Frequent eye rubbing or squeezing
- Tilting or turning head to look at objects
- Wandering eyes
- Recurring headaches
- Watery eyes or redness
Eye safety is just as important for protecting your child’s vision
Did you know that nearly 90 percent of eye injuries affecting children are avoidable? Here are some easy ways you can help protect their vision:
- Children who play sports should wear eye protection with polycarbonate lenses, which are shatter-resistant.
- Look for toys that are approved by The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which means they have met or exceeded national safety standards.
- Avoid projectile toys like darts, bow and arrow or missile-firing toys.
If your child should experience an eye injury, do not allow them to touch or rub the affected eye and seek medical attention immediately. If your child is in need of specialist care or retinal surgery in Austin, call the experienced eye care specialists at Austin Retina Associates at 800-252-8259 to schedule an appointment.