The first examination for your child is recommended at 6 months of age. The child should be seen sooner only if their parents have noticed any abnormalities. If everything is normal at the first exam, the next exam is recommended at 3 years of age, and then yearly until the child is finished school.
SPECTRUM Optometry accepts payment from the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) as full payment for children’s exams. We believe it is critical for all children to get regular examinations and this is one of the ways we help families in our community. 80% of learning is visual, therefore, we want to ensure children have good vision so they will learn and succeed.
Children generally do not report symptoms of poor vision, as they have no way of knowing what clear vision is. If a child is very farsighted (hyperopic) they will find near work, such as reading and colouring, to be very difficult and tiring. Uncorrected farsighted children can be misdiagnosed as having a learning disability. A child who is nearsighted may not be able to see the blackboard at school. Spectacles are used to correct both of these vision problems.
There are many conditions that may prevent a child from seeing out of one eye and yet they have no symptoms of poor vision because the other eye sees clearly. When this situation is allowed to persist, the pathway between the unused eye and the brain does not develop properly. This condition is called amblyopia (lazy eye) and the vision cannot be restored with spectacles (eyeglasses). Early diagnosis of the conditions that result in amblyopia can prevent its development. That is why the first exam at 6 months of age is so important.