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When do they start to see an eye doctor?

How old should your child be for their first visit to the eye doctor? I have seen a lot of people lately saying like 7 months. My son is 2 and I haven't even thought about taking him and our pediatrician hasn't mentioned taking him yet. So should I take him?

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chelleybeans

Asked by chelleybeans at 12:00 PM on Jun. 27, 2010 in Kids' Health

Level 9 (334 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • We didn't take our daughter until she was getting ready to start preschool at age 3, then we kept up the regular exams since then.
    How can a 7 month old even tell the doctor what he/she is seeing?
    Kiwismommy19

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 12:02 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • In my opinion, a child only needs to see an eye doc if you or the pedi think there is a problem.

    I have learned from working in a daycare that the eye chart method of screening for problems is not the best. We have been working with the Prevent Blindness organization using a machine called a Suresight screener. It picks up amblyopia and astigmatism. Since we have been working with them, I'd say about 1/10th of the preschoolers have needed glasses. Since learning is visual to that age group, it has been very rewarding to see results. Ask your pedi about the use of the eyechart, versus the suresight (or similar, I'm not pushing IT) machine.

    Now, saying all that, my son went to an eye doc when he was about 5, went through the drops/ whole exam and nothing was the matter...when we tried to ask him more questions about what he meant about "I can't see well", he was talking about seeing PAST the horizon....lol...
    kjrn79

    Answer by kjrn79 at 12:06 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • My DD and DS get their eye exams done at their drs office with their regular wellness appt.
    They started at 3.
    Trotterswife

    Answer by Trotterswife at 12:06 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • My oldest had her 1st eye appt when she was going into kindergarten because it was required by the school district here (and it couldn't be the screening the pediatrician did).  My son has never had more than the eye chart at the doctors but hasn't had any problems (no complaints from him) and he's almost 9.  My oldest is 10 now and hasn't been back in 5 years (also no complaints of her eyes bothering her).


    My middle daughter is 7 and has been seeing a pediatric opthomologist since she was 17 months old since she had blocked tear ducts and has worn glasses since she was 18 months.


    My youngest is 4 and refused to do the eye chart at 3 so she'll do that when we finally take her for her 4 year check up.

    justanotherjen

    Answer by justanotherjen at 12:11 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Is your son crossing one or both eyes? Does he squint or complain of headaches regularly? Then he may have an issue with his eyesight. My son was 2 1/2 when we took him to the eye doctor, because he started crossing his eyes frequently. Thinking it was nothing, we were shocked to find out he was EXTREMELY farsighted!! On a scale of 0-10, he was a +9.75!! Talk about feeling like "mother of the year!" LOL Fortunately he only needed corrective eyeglasses, and we got him these great pair of flex frames with wrap around the ear temples--so he could continue to be the active little boy he was! He's now 8 1/2 and his prescription has comes down to +7.50, so his eye sight is improving like it should! He just went to the eye doctor and was assessed as having 20/20 vision--so as he gets older, he'll get to the point where glasses won't be necessary and he won't need corrective surgery.

    CONTINUED
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 12:11 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • BUT, the thing that REALLY irked me, was son saw two pediatric physician groups in two states (we moved when he was 9 months) in which MULTIPLE doctors examined him, and part of that exam was shining a light in his eyes to check for pupil refraction. And they never noticed anything odd about my son's pupils.

    When I took my son to the eye doctor, he too shined the light in his eyes, and IMMEDIATELY noted a problem! He showed me the test. When the doctor shined the light in his eyes, the pupils should have had a red appearance (like wen you take pictures of people and they get "red eye"), but my sons were pure white!

    The simplest test could have ruled out a problem even earlier, and I was so mad, that the general pediatricians couldn't at least say..."I'm not an eye doctor, but something isn;t right about your son's eyes...here's a referral to see a specialist!" Thankfully my mother's instincts kicked in! :o)
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 12:16 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Our pediatrician told us that it really isn't necessary unless there is a more serious problem (i.e. a child is complaining about not being able to see the board at school, or they don't do well on their eye exams at their WCC, crossing of the eyes, squinting, other eye issues). That was pretty much what the pediatric ophthalmologists I worked for said as well.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 12:17 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • We've been told by the eye doctor at around age 4-5, unless of course you or your pediatrician notice problems. They use pictures for kids, instead of letters.
    xraydri

    Answer by xraydri at 12:18 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • Don't worry. Unless you have seen your child have possible vision problems. Does he sit close to the tv or ask you to move the book closer when you are reading it. Can he pick small objects up and place them where he wants them? Trust your instincts. Some preschool programs require each child to get a vision and hearing test with their physical before enrollment around 3 years old. If you are worried, call your eye doctor and ask them when the best time is for a child to make their first visit.
    Lifes-A-Dance

    Answer by Lifes-A-Dance at 12:20 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • My ds is 4 and he has not been to the eye doctor yet. But when he goes to the dr, they do a vision test, the kind where you cover one eye and tell them what you see. I think that is kind of like a pre-screening test, if the dr feels they are having trouble with it, then they may suggest that you take your child to an eye dr. 7 months is way too young though, they didn't start doing the vision test at ds' ped office until he was 3y/o.
    GavinsMommii

    Answer by GavinsMommii at 12:29 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

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