Kids need a special kind of eye care. They require patience, creativity, and specialty testing skills and instruments to uncover vision disorders common to children.
Some vision conditions show more obvious signs such as an eye turning in, squinting, or holding things too close to read. However, many vision problems are only caught through special testing during a pediatric comprehensive eye exam. For example, slight eye turns (called “strabismus”), or if one eye sees well and the other is weaker (called “amblyopia”), are unnoticeable to parents and children and can lead to permanently decreased vision and depth perception if not treated in time.
Poor performance in school or sports can sometimes mean there is an underlying vision problem, either from a refractive error (needs glasses) or if the eyes are not aligned and are not working together. Sometimes children are told they have a reading or learning disability, and we discover a vision disorder as the cause instead. We treat amblyopia, strabismus and binocular vision disorders among other pediatric eye conditions.
Early detection of any vision disorder is crucial to have the best chances of giving the child good vision and strong depth perception to last the rest of their lives. Dr. Burgett recommends children have their first comprehensive eye exam as young as 1 year old, then every other year until kindergarten unless he finds a reason to monitor more often.
During your child’s pediatric eye exam we will perform a thorough evaluation of their depth perception, color vision, eye alignment and your doctor will evaluate the health of their eyes with a kind and gentle touch.
Since the sun causes damage to children’s eyes, and they are outside so often, Dr. Burgett recommends, “I always stress the importance of kids using 100% UV blocking sunwear whenever outside. This is one of the best habits we can encourage them to get into.” Transitions are an excellent option to make sure our kids get the protection from the sun they need without having to switch glasses before going outside.
For school aged children and teenagers, Dr. Burgett offers CRT contact lenses for myopia control, as well as soft contacts to improve vision for sports or activities. Eye health vitamins such as Screen Shield and Visual Edge provide zeaxanthin and lutein formulated to protect their eyes from the harmful effects of blue light from digital screens, and to enhance contrast sensitivity, helpful in competitive sports. Since most youngsters spend hours on digital devices these days, we recommend a glasses lens that filters out the blue light.