Children need to see an ophthalmologist at a much younger age than many parents realize. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends scheduling a trip to the ophthalmologist when an infant has reached six months of age. The next visits with an eye doctor should be scheduled at about the third and fifth birthdays. However, if you notice any potential signs of eye problems in your child, you can schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an ophthalmologist in Chicago at any time.
Sometimes, eye problems that occur in children involve visible changes. If your child’s eyes appear to be misaligned, a trip to the ophthalmologist is in order. This could be a condition known as strabismus, or crossed eyes, which requires early treatment. Other visible changes to the eyes can include redness, swelling, and crusting. These are possible signs of an eye infection such as conjunctivitis.
If your child is nearsighted or farsighted, he or she may display some atypical behaviors. Your child may hold books or pictures unusually close to or far away from his or her head. You might notice that your child frequently rubs his or her eyes, especially while trying to concentrate on something. He or she may consistently sit too close to the TV. Some children might even close or cover one eye while reading or watching TV. This last symptom may indicate a binocular vision problem.
Many children are diagnosed with nearsightedness after suffering a setback in academic performance. If your child has suddenly begun to receive poor grades or his or her teacher has noted that your child has not been paying attention in class, it could be time to schedule an eye exam. Kids who cannot see well have trouble reading instructions on the chalkboard. They might have trouble using computers or performing close work. In these cases, vision correction via eyeglasses may be all that is needed to get kids back on track in school.
If your child is old enough to articulate the problems he or she is experiencing, then you may hear him or her complain of dizziness, headaches, or nausea after reading or using a computer. These symptoms may indicate refractive errors. If your child experiences other types of vision problems, he or she may complain of having itchy, painful, or burning eyes. Fortunately, an ophthalmologist can help your child see clearly again.