A recent study shows tens of thousands of preschoolers are struggling with untreated vision problems. Eye doctors recommend children have a comprehensive eye exam every year to detect problems early.
For 7-year-old Peyton Gifis, visits to the eye doctor are now like clockwork. At just two-and-a -half years old, she was diagnosed with a condition called strabismus, a misalignment in her right eye that forced it to turn inward. It took surgery to correct it.
Since then, Peyton has been getting annual, comprehensive eye exams, which Doctor Saysha Blazier says go far beyond the simple eye chart test at school or in a pediatrician’s office.
“If a kid can read far away, they can usually pass those eye tests. But, when it comes to reading up close, they may have major difficulties that are not detected.The words might look like they swim around on the page,” Dr. Blazier explains
A recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology finds more than 174,000 preschoolers have vision impairment and the problem is growing.
Dr. Blazier says, “Every child should have an eye exam. The American Optometric Association recommends at six months, to get the first exam.”
Eye doctors say if parents notice kids are holding a book too close, squinting, or frequently rubbing their eyes, they may have an eye problem.