Like all parents, you want to be on top of whatever your child needs. Unfortunately, it’s often hard to know if your child’s vision is as good as it needs to be for them to thrive. To begin with, children often don’t notice when their vision is fuzzy or distorted. And when they do notice something is off, they are often not able to articulate or identify what exactly they’re experiencing. This can cause vision problems to go unnoticed or unaddressed.
To make things worse, it’s quite common for undiagnosed vision problems to be misdiagnosed as behavioral or attention deficit issues.
Often, eye or vision problems that go undiagnosed may not show any symptoms until they’ve already caused vision loss and damage to the eye.
Here are some questions and answers about children’s vision that every parent should know:
Q: How do I know if my child’s amblyopia (lazy eye) is improving?
A: Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a condition that doesn’t go away on its own. We have electrodiagnostic testing that can help us objectively determine how well amblyopia treatment is working without having to rely on feedback from your child, which can skew results.
Electromagnetic testing is non-invasive and quick (30 minutes) and can be used for patients of all ages, starting in infancy.
Q: Do I need to see an eye doctor if my vision is clear and comfortable?
A: Regular eye exams are the only method to detect “silent” diseases like diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages, when they’re easier to control and treat. An eye exam can reveal a variety of conditions.
Q: I need reading glasses. Can I just go to the store and get any pair?
A: One-size-fits-all reading glasses may be suitable for some, but if you’re like most people, you likely have a different prescription in each eye, or astigmatism. Over-the-counter reading glasses are not meant to address this issue, and you may actually be harming your eyes by using an incorrect prescription. Headaches and eye fatigue are common complaints from people who insist on wearing glasses that aren’t custom-made for their eyes.
Q: I was told I have 20/20 vision at my last physical, so why do I need to go to my optometrist?
A: Just because you can see 20/20 doesn’t guarantee that your eyes are healthy. There are many more factors at play to determine your overall vision and eye health. A comprehensive eye exam with our Manhattan Beach optometrist will assess your whole visual system, including vision (or visual acuity), binocular vision, visual pathway integrity, and overall eye health.
It’s recommended to have a full eye exam every 1-2 years, even if you are in good health and feel like you don’t need glasses.
Q: If my vision seems fine, my eyes are healthy, right?
A: Unfortunately, the answer is no. Many eye diseases don’t display noticeable symptoms in their early stages, when vision loss can still be prevented or minimized. Having your eyes examined is the only way to know if they are truly healthy.