Pediatric Vision Care
Find a child eye care specialist in the Greater St. Louis area.
Healthy vision is one of the most important components of your child’s wellness. Vision develops rapidly starting at birth and is tied to many developmental milestones, such as hand-eye coordination and reading. In the long term, your child’s vision will impact how they learn, play, and interact with the world.
While there may be some obvious signs of visual disorders, many vision problems can only be detected by a qualified eye doctor during a comprehensive eye exam.
Is Your Child Having Trouble Seeing?
It is not always easy to spot vision problems in kids. When children have trouble with their eyes, their ability to learn, play and participate in sports is affected.
Some symptoms are more noticeable, such as squinting or holding reading materials very close. But often the early signs are subtle and can even be misdiagnosed.
Wondering if it is time to set up an appointment with a pediatric eye specialist? Your child may have a vision problem if he or she does any of the following --
Avoids reading and close-up work like coloring or doing puzzles
Seems to work slow or not understand the task
Complains of fatigue or headaches
Has a short attention span or seems distracted
Covers one eye or tilts head when focusing on something
Shows sensitivity to light
Exhibits difficulty with coordination
Common Eye Disorders in Children
Vision can be affected by many things, including the shape of the eyeball, how the eyes and brain work together, and by other diseases or medical conditions. The good news is that many eye disorders can be successfully identified and treated. Our pediatric optometrists are specially trained to detect both common eye disorders as well as rare medical conditions that could affect your child’s vision.
The most common eye disorders are caused by the shape and alignment of the eyes.
Strabismus is when the eyes do not align properly. This is often referred to as “crossed eyes.”
Amblyopia is poor vision in one eye, and is sometimes referred to as "lazy eye.” It usually occurs before the age of eight. Infants born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk.
Refractive errors cause blurry images due to the shape of the eyeball or lens. These common conditions are easily treated with glasses or contact lenses. There are three types of refractive errors:
Myopia or nearsightedness is good close vision but poor distance vision.
Hyperopia or farsightedness is poor up-close vision. Distant objects can easily be seen.
Astigmatism is imperfect vision at any distance.
Important Vision Screening Schedule
Routine eye exams are a crucial part of your child’s well being and readiness for learning. Newborns have their eyes checked before leaving the hospital. And leading medical organizations recommend comprehensive eye exams for health, vision development, and alignment at these ages:
Between 6 and 12 months
3 years of age
Roughly every other year throughout the school years
Many parents do not know that school screenings are not the same as eye exams. Even with 20/20 vision, your child can still have problems that only an eye doctor can detect.