We recommend children have their first eye exam between ages 6 months and 1 year, and then subsequent eye exams at age 3 and then at age 5 if everything is healthy. If health issues are detected or glasses are necessary, we recommend more frequent eye examinations on a case by case basis. For children 6 and under, dilation drops are often necessary to obtain an accurate glasses prescription. These drops typically take 45 minutes to work, and are stronger than the dilation drops we use for adults. They may last for up to 24 hours, and sometimes longer in children with blue or light-colored eyes. During this time, your child may complain of blurred vision at near, trouble focusing, or sensitivity to bright lights. Most patients tolerate the dilation drops very well, and parents appreciate the accuracy in glasses prescription the drops provide.
Eye examinations for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. Early identification of a child’s vision problem can be crucial because children often are more responsive to treatment when problems are diagnosed early. For example, it is very common for children who are farsighted to pass school screenings, but lose interest in reading due to headaches and eye discomfort. Glasses prescribed by an eye doctor can help alleviate these symptoms. Treatment often improves grades in school and increasing a child’s interest in reading. Dr. Langer can evaluate and treat farsightedness, along with many other eye conditions common to children.
Children who have difficulty tracking their eyes while reading, have issues focusing, or have been diagnosed with “lazy eye” may benefit from more than just a glasses prescription. Vision therapy is a process where customized eye exercises are prescribed to improve visual discomfort and processing of visual information. Multiple studies have shown vision therapy to be very effective when used appropriately. Dr. Langer works closely with local area vision therapists to refer patients who may benefit from vision therapy.
At 512 Eye, we have digital acuity eye charts in each exam room. This modern technology allows Dr. Langer to play children’s movies during eye exams, which helps ease anxieties many young children have about going to the doctor’s office.
If your child ends up needing glasses, we have a large selection of children’s frames to choose from, including popular brands such as Ray Ban and Jelly Beans. We also carry ASTM approved high impact sports goggles to reduce the risk of eye injuries while playing sports.