Millions of children under the age of 18 wear eyeglasses, but new research indicates that half of U.S. parents do not bring their children in for a back-to-school eye exam. Poor vision can affect academic performance as well as interfere with sports and extracurricular activities.
Eye health is something that can easily be taken for granted. Because most people are born with the ability to see clearly, it is often not until something begins to go wrong that medical care is sought. However, it is important to receive regular vision screenings for yourself and your children to ensure eye health is up to par.
So how often should you get your vision screened and what is done during a routine screening?
When to Get a Vision Screening
Babies and toddlers should be examined by a pediatrician at all routine checkups as vision trouble can go undetected at such a young age. Once a child turns three, a vision-specific screening should occur. For kids between the ages of 3 and 19, an every-other-year routine is safe for vision checkups.
At CareNow Urgent Care, you can bring your child in for a vision screening if there are any concerns about your child’s vision. Believe it or not, these urgent care clinics can assess near and distant vision, depth perception, color vision as well as overall visual health. The screening takes about 15 minutes, and the results can be very significant for a child who doesn’t see well!
Moms and dads, too, need regular complete eye exams: at least once between the ages of 20 and 29 and twice between the ages of 30 and 39. At age 40, all adults should get a baseline screening for eye disease to rule out potential risk factors or other underlying health problems. Finally, for senior citizens age 65 and beyond, eyes should be examined every year or two as eyesight tends to worsen with age.
What an Eye Exam Looks Like
Once your medical history has been covered, your doctor will want to know how well you see by having you read from an eye chart placed 20 feet away from you. If you have trouble reading from either eye, your doctor will hold up various lenses for you to read through to see if your vision clears up with specific lenses. This will determine if you need glasses or contacts.
Finally, your pupils will be examined to see how healthy they are. Your doctor will shine a light into each eye to check the dilation. And before your exam is over, your doctor will look for any signs of injury, infection or inflammation on the outer parts of your eyes.
While an adult patient has an idea if they need glasses or a stronger prescription, kids may not know any better. A vision screening is a simple way to detect a problem early on. If any problems are found, a follow up appointment with a specialist would be recommended to determine the most effective treatment.
Knowing how simple the process is should take away any fear of an eye exam. It’s key to maintaining strong eye health. If you or your child needs a basic vision screening, contact your local CareNow Urgent Care. We also do kids sports physicals for $18.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.