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Vision Screenings

Help ensure optimal eye health for your child

Vision Screenings
February 2013

Good vision is important to your child's development and well-being—and good eye Health begins in infancy.

Your child's eye health now could impact his vision in the future. How can you ensure your child's eyes are developing properly and are at their best? This is best accomplished through an eye screening.

Vision screenings for your child are important because the earlier eye issues are detected, the better the recovery and long-term prognosis. Untreated eye problems can lead to vision loss or worse—blindness. 

Vision screenings should be conducted annually by your child's pediatrician—beginning as a newborn through age five. After age five, your pediatrician should continue to give your child an eye screening every one to two years. Screenings for children are an efficient, proven and inexpensive way to identify children who may be at risk for developing serious visual impairments. 

These regular, consistent screenings will help ensure your child optimal eye health. Your pediatrician is primarily checking for:

Amblyopia: Often referred to as "lazy eye," reduced vision in one or both eyes

Strabismus: Misalignment of eyes, such as crossed eyes

Refraction issues: Nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia)

Cataracts, glaucoma and other eye conditions that may require treatment

If you are not sure if your child's eyes are being checked, ask your pediatrician. Vision problems are frequently not noticeable to parents so it's important your child is screened by a pediatrician who is trained to test your child's eye health. The way your pediatrician tests your child's eye health will change as your child gets older and is better able to communicate what he sees and understands. Doctors can use a variety of tests to best assess whether a child has or is developing an eye problem. It's important to tell your pediatrician if there is a family history of vision issues. 

Bottom line: As a parent, make vision care part of your child's routine medical care. Being proactive can help ensure optimal eye health for your child.

For more information, visit www.iuhealth.org

Tags: Health, In This Issue, Kids

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