About Infant Eye Exams
During a baby's first year, the eyes go through significant development from 20/400 visual acuity at birth to 20/25 after about six months. It's important to help a baby's visual development with toys, activities, and an infant eye screening. Since infants and young children are not able to communicate eye problems, a pediatric eye exam at Vold Vision in Northwest Arkansas can be performed to identify and treat certain conditions before they can cause permanent problems. As part of the InfantSEE® program, Vold Vision offers free eye exams to infants up to one year old so parents can help their child's visual and general development. At a pediatric eye exam, the doctor will look for vision problems (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism), eye functionality, and other specific conditions like amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (misalignment of eyes), convergence insufficiency, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movements). By identifying vision problems at a young age, Vold Vision can help your child's vision and development get back on track.
"We took our 7 month old daughter in for her free checkup and it was a great experience. They really knew how to handle her as an infant. She loved Dr. Hendricks and vice versa. The receptionist Cheyanne was great as well! She held my daughter the whole time during my eye exam and played in the hallway with her and carried her around to keep her entertained with toys and stuff."- T.N. / Facebook / Nov 09, 2019
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends children receive eye exams at six months, three years, and before first grade. A baby can be checked for issues like lazy eye, crossed eyes, eye cancer, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. An eye exam is especially important if there is a family history of vision problems or if a child is displaying any signs of eye problems including:
- Closing one eye
- Eye rubbing
- Sitting too close to the screen (television, computer, or other)
What to Expect
Eye exams for infants and young children are chosen based on the child's level of development (their ability to read, understand, and speak). Some of the tests that can be performed to assess the visual development of children under age five are:
- The pupil response test that checks to see if the pupil opens and closes properly when exposed to light.
- The fixate and follow test checks that the eyes can fix on an object and follow it.
- Preferential looking uses cards that are either blank or striped to see if the baby is more attracted to the stripes.
- The retinoscopy test that uses the reflection of light to determine a child's eyeglass prescription.
- An eye test with LEA symbols (recognizable images like a house, apple, and shapes) instead of a chart with letters to check visual acuity.
If a child is diagnosed with an optical condition like lazy eye, misalignment, vision impairment, or another issue, the doctor will create a custom treatment plan based on the child's unique needs. Parents should continue to schedule regular eye exams every two years or as recommended by their doctor. Once children start school, annual eye exams should be scheduled to prevent learning disabilities and catch developing eye issues.
Plan Your Procedure
Start Them Strong
Help your children get a strong start in life with infant visual screenings and early childhood eye exams at Vold Vision in Northwest Arkansas. By catching eye problems early, your child will have more treatment options and a better chance of successfully treating the problem for a lifetime of better vision. Contact Vold Vision to learn more about free infant eye exams and when to schedule one for your child.