Advertisement

Why should I get my child's eyes checked?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, eye exams should begin at birth and continue at each well-child check. Prior to 3 years of age, the eyes should be examined for ocular motility, or proper eye movement, pupil examination, external lid and eye abnormalities and red reflex looking for cataracts or eye tumors. At the age of 3 years, visual acuity should be assessed and a fundoscopic exam should be attempted to carefully look at the back of the eye.

Dr. Michael X. Repka
Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

All children should undergo an evaluation to detect eye and vision abnormalities during the first few months of life, at 6 months to 1 year, at 3 to 4 years, and at 5 years (approximately). Abnormalities present at birth, such as opacities of the ocular media (e.g., congenital cataract) or ptosis, may have profound effects on the development of the normal vision in the infant. By age 3 1/2, the child will generally cooperate enough for fairly accurate assessment of visual acuity and ocular alignment, and he or she should have this assessed by a pediatrician or other medical practitioner. Any abnormalities or inability to test are criteria for referral to an ophthalmologist. Infants at high risk, such as those with the potential for retinopathy of prematurity and those with a family history of retinoblastoma, childhood cataracts, childhood glaucoma, or metabolic and genetic disease, should have a medical examination by an ophthalmologist as soon as medically feasible.

Continue Learning about Eye Care

How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam As I Grow Older?
How Often Do I Need an Eye Exam As I Grow Older?
In this video, ophthalmologist and Sharecare Advisory Board member David Demartini, MD, explains how frequently you should have an eye exam, and why t...
Read More
Will We Eventually Be Able to Cure Blindness?
Will We Eventually Be Able to Cure Blindness?
How Do You Inspire the Next Generation of Ophthalmologists?
How Do You Inspire the Next Generation of Ophthalmologists?
Is Eye Disease More Prevalent for Those with Diabetes?
Is Eye Disease More Prevalent for Those with Diabetes?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.