EYE CHECKUP IN CHILDREN
Eye checkup in children is important. Many serious eye issues in children which are present from birth go unnoticed. Hence early detection of eye problem can give sufficient time to doctor to provide effective, latest treatment.
Children in younger age are unable to identify if they have an eye problem. In such cases, parent can observe child’s behavior and if they notice any symptoms of eye problem they should consult Ophthalmologist or Eye Surgeon.
Ophthalmologists have the skills and knowledge of clinical tools to perform in depth evaluation of your child’s eyes and vision.
Primary eye care organizations have suggested a schedule for children’s eye health checkup. This is as follows:
For newborn preterm infants the eyes should be checked while in the hospital. A basic physical eye examination is done after birth. After few weeks the eyes are again checked. This early eye examination can help to evaluate congenital eye conditions. These could be serious and some may even be permanent conditions for which the treatment must start as early as possible to prevent serious vision problems.
Eye examinations then should continue after six month to 1 year, two to three years till five years. Various eye tests are designed especially for children. Doctors also assess history of the previous vision examinations to compare the results and see if eye condition is evolving.
What Eye Issues Could Children Have?
There are various eye conditions that can be detected during eye tests. These include:
- Cataracts present from birth
- Glaucoma in rare conditions
- Amblyopia where the vision in one eye does not develop properly
- Strabismus where the eyes look in different directions
- Myopia or short-sightedness
- Hyperopia or long-sightedness
- Color blindness
- Astigmatism a cornea condition where it is deformed
What Eye Tests Could Be Done For Children?
There could be various tests that could be done on children. Some may be subjected to be done after detecting some eye issues.
At primary level the most common tests that are done on children include:
- Physical examination: Many physical examinations are done to test the working of the eye in younger children. Simple methods are done to attract the child’s attention to certain objects at distance and direction.
- Pupil reflex test: The pupil reflex test is done to check the pupil’s response to light. The pupil must shrink when light falls on them. In any abnormal reaction further tests are recommended.
- The red reflex test: The red reflex test is done to test eye reflection. A red reflection should be seen when light falls on the eye.
- Chart tests: For children who can read, tests are done using charts that have rows of letters, symbols and numbers in decreasing sizes. Children are then asked to match or read them. One such chart test is Snellen and LogMAR chats test.
- Range of movement tests: To tests the eye muscles this test is done. The eyes are asked to move in various directions.
- Refraction test: A refraction test is done after administrating eye drops that widens the pupil. The child is then asked to read or recognize symbols or look at light. This is done after putting vision correcting lenses in front of the eyes. This test is done to check if the child needs glasses
- Color blindness test: The child is asked to read numbers or letters embedded as colored dots in a colorful dotted circle. The child with a colorblindness issue is not able to read the numbers.
During the school years, kids should have eye exams at least every two years if no vision problems are detected in early exams. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually or as recommended by Ophthalmologist.
An early detection of eye issues helps Ophthalmologists and Eye Surgeons to manage and treat the eye condition effectively.
If your child is suffering from any eye problem, don’t wait. Consult an expert eye doctor. Dr Ruchika Kedia’s “Arora Eye Clinic” in Thane, is well equipped with modern eye diagnosis facilities for accurate evaluation of eye problem.
Dr Ruchika Kedia is one of the most skillful Ophthalmologist in Thane with the vast experience in treating pediatric eye conditions.