When should your baby see an eye doctor?

Eighty percent of everything that children learn starts with their eyes. Yet shockingly, nearly 50% of parents with children under the age of 6 have never taken their child to see an optometrist for an eye exam. According to the American Optometric Association, babies should receive their first eye exam around six months old. This early exam checks for signs of near or farsightedness, lazy eye, crossed eyes or more serious cases. Developmentally, by six months old a baby should be able to focus, see color and have depth perception.

The InfantSEE® program was developed in 2005 by the American Optometric Association and Johnson & Johnson Vision. Through this program, participating optometrists provide a no cost, comprehensive infant eye and vision assessment to babies 6-12 months old regardless of income or insurance coverage. Our optometrists at Heartland Optical are proud to be part of this program and are happy to provide this important service.
It is estimated that one in four children has a vision problem that interferes with learning and behavior. Many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant’s first year of life. An eye exam performed by an optometrist is a great addition to the other wellness evaluations all babies are recommended to have during their first few years of life.

Here are a few things our Optometrists will do and look for during the exam:

  1. Health history – we’ll ask you some questions about the pregnancy, delivery, and the baby’s development thus far.
  2. Visual acuity – this test will tell us how well your child can fix his/her eyes on an object, follow the object, which objects the baby prefers to look at, and at what distances.
  3. Refractive status – our doctor may use a special hand-held instrument to assess how the eye responds to particular targets using lenses and light.
  4. Eye movement – our doctor catches the baby’s attention and observes how the baby follows the movements of the toy or object.
  5. Eye alignment – this assessment helps our doctor gather information about the eye muscles.
  6. Eye health – this important exam checks the structure of the eye as well as its eyelids, tear ducts, pupil function, and more.

Call, text, or visit us online at www.HeartlandOptical.com to schedule your baby’s first appointment.

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