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The Importance of Eye Exams For Children


little girl swimmingHealthy eyes are a very important part of a child's successful development This is why it is extremely important that children receive proper attention when it comes to their eyesight, starting from a very early age. This ensures that everything is developing correctly and diagnosis and treatment of problems  can be carried out before these issues worsen. Many serious eye conditions may show symptoms even while your child is still an infant, but become much harder to correct the longer they go untreated, which is why it very important to have regular yearly eye exams for your child. Dr. Joseph Convertino of iCare Solutions in Fort Myers, Florida says, “Children should have comprehensive eye exams at least every year, beginning from the age of 6 months, to check for and treat any conditions that may otherwise hinder a child's development.”


There are many eye conditions that can cause difficulties later in life, but can be easily detected and treated in childhood, which is why it is so important for parents to be cautious to have eye exams early and often for their children. Strabismus and Amblyopia are two conditions like this.


In Strabismus the eyes are not aligned together, as a result of muscles that control eye movements being misaligned or underdeveloped. In healthy, properly aligned eyes, each eye sees essentially the same image of an object being viewed, and the brain combines these two perspectives into a single interpreted image. This is called Binocular Fusion. With Strabismus, the misalignment of the eyes sends completely different images, causing Binocular Fusion to be very difficult or even impossible. The child's brain eventually reacts to the differing images sent by the misaligned eyes by eliminating images coming from one of the eyes. This can cause a condition called amblyopia, or “lazy eye.” Amblyopia is a condition characterized by very poor sight in one eye as a result of poor development in that eye during a person's development. Several problems can seriously affect vision from childhood into adulthood if amblyopia is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. The weaker eye may develop a serious and permanent visual defect and depth perception may be lost.


You should also have regular eye exams for your child, since your child's success in school relies heavily upon proper vision. Eye exams centered on school vision are meant to check for less serious conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Dr. Convertino comments, “Your eye doctor also needs to check early for basic skills related to good eyesight for learning. These include eye movement skills, Peripheral awareness and Hand-eye coordination.”


Contact Dr. Convertino today for more information, and to schedule your child's comprehensive eye exam.


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