Swift Creek Eye Center provides quality pediatric eyecare and eye health services for the entire family.
That said, it's not unusual for us to diagnose significant visual problems in children who have repeatedly passed school vision screenings. Moms and Dads have been horrified and frustrated because these early vision problems have resulted in permanent vision loss that could have been avoided.
Most parents don't know they should have their child's eyes examined early on in life. The facts are surprising. The American Optometric Association estimates that one in four children has an undetected vision problem, and they recommend regular eye exams - beginning at age three.
A recent study by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) found that 60 percent of children younger than age six have never had their eyes checked by a Optometrist; among school-age children, only 20 percent have had their vision tested by an eye doctor within the past year.
"[That statistic] is too bad, because earlier treatment is better treatment," says Jean Ramsey, MD, Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Boston Medical Center, and an assistant professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Boston University.
"The brain is most flexible when it's young. By the time you're an adult, your vision is hardwired ... but a child's brain is plastic and changeable. Treatment by age eight or nine may even repair conditions such as amblyopia ['lazy eye']."
The Society to Prevent Blindness recommends that ALL children have their first eye exam before the age of five by an eye doctor.
Don't rely on school screenings. They're no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.
Do all that you can to help your child perform to their fullest potential in school, see this beautiful world we live in, and enjoy it as much as they can.