Pediatric Eye Care
Children have special needs requiring special care such as:
Binocular vision problems (crossed eyes)
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
Pediatric eye disease
When should my child have their first eye exam?
The American Optometric Association recommends an initial eye exam for babies that are 6 to 12 months old. If the findings of this exam are normal, their next exam should be at 3 years old, then before kindergarten, and then every 1 to 2 years after that.
Children are often anxious for a doctor appointment and eyes are no different. Eye drops must be inserted as part of the exam but Dr. Hatch and his staff provides patience and support. Talking or reading a letter chart is not a necessary part of the pediatric eye exam. Dr. Hatch can assess from eye movement behaviors with tests such as fixation and preferential looking. Children are given the option of matching shape types for an eye chart. Eyeglass prescriptions, if needed, are measured objectively and minimum patient participation is needed. On occasion a diagnosis may involve occupational therapy for visual perceptual dysfunctions and consultation with educators to develop independent educational programs for children with special educational needs.
When conditions such as strabismus and amblyopia are diagnosed and treated at an early age, the child has a much better chance of normal vision development, which also plays a large role in meeting developmental and school objectives. Amblyopia is often not detected until later in childhood when it is harder to treat.
Perceptual examinations measure visual information processing such as reversals, eye tracking and visual memory. Some children are able to pass pediatric vision screenings without complaints or obvious problems so a comprehensive eye exam at a young age becomes very important.
Dr. Stanley Hatch