Santa Fe, NM

Pediatric Eye Exam

Santa Fe, NM

Pediatric Eye Exam

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Detecting vision problems early is key to preventing long-term issues that can affect your child’s learning and development. Some experts estimate that around 5% to 10% of preschoolers and 25% of school-aged children have some type of vision issue. At Ultimate Eyecare Santa Fe, we offer pediatric eye exams for children of all ages to ensure better vision and prevent serious complications down the road.

How often should my child see the eye doctor?  

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), all children should have their eyes examined at six months, at age three, and before starting school. Children without vision problems or risk factors for eye or vision problems should continue to have their eyes examined at least every two years throughout school. For children who wear glasses or contacts, the AOA recommends eye exams every 12 months or as advised by their eye doctor. 

Children with existing vision problems or risk factors need more frequent eye exams. Common risk factors for vision problems include: 

  • Premature birth 
  • Turned or crossed eyes 
  • Family history of eye diseases 
  • Developmental delays 
  • History of eye injury 
  • Other physical illness or disease 

Eye exams for infants: birth – 24 months

A baby’s visual system develops gradually over the first few months of life. They’re learning how to focus, move their eyes, and use them together as a team. The brain also learns how to understand and interact with the world through visual information from the eyes. As their eyesight improves, they start to develop motor skills like crawling, walking, and hand-eye coordination.

More about eye exams for infants

By monitoring your baby’s development and scheduling a comprehensive eye exam at six months, you can ensure that your baby is reaching their milestones. During this exam, our eye doctor will ensure that your child is seeing properly and developing on track. They will look for any issues that could affect their eye health or vision, including crossed eyes, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.  

Premature babies or those who show developmental delays are more likely to have eye and vision problems. In these cases, their eye doctor may want to see your baby more frequently.  

Eye exams for toddlers and preschoolers: 2-5

Children’s intellectual and motor skills develop rapidly during the toddler and preschool years. As they develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and perceptual abilities, they will be prepared to read and write, play sports, and participate in creative activities such as drawing, sculpting, and building. All of this depends on having good vision and visual skills.

More about eye exams for toddlers and preschoolers

This is the age when parents should be looking for signs of lazy eye (amblyopia), when one eye doesn’t see clearly, or crossed eyes (strabismus), when one or both eyes turns inward or outward. The earlier these conditions are treated, the higher the success rate. 

Parents should also pay attention to any developmental delays in coordination or recognizing objects, numbers, letters, or colors, as these problems can often be related to vision. If you notice your child squinting, rubbing their eyes frequently, sitting very close to the TV or books, or generally avoiding activities such as puzzles or coloring, it might be time for a visit to the eye doctor. 

Eye exams for school-aged children: Ages 6-18

Undetected or uncorrected vision problems can affect a child’s school performance, social interactions, sports activities, and personal life. If your child is having trouble in school or after-school activities, there could be an underlying vision problem. Good vision is crucial for learning, motor skills development, reading, and many other abilities that depend on your eyes working well together. Children who have problems with focusing, reading, binocular vision, or hand-eye coordination will often get frustrated and may also have behavioral problems.

More about eye exams for school-aged children: Ages 6-18

Often, they don’t know that the vision they are experiencing is abnormal, so they aren’t able to express that they need help. 

In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, signs of vision problems in older children include: 

  • Short attention span 
  • Frequent blinking 
  • Tilting the head to one side 
  • Losing their place often while reading 
  • Headaches 
  • Avoiding reading 
  • Double vision 
  • Poor reading comprehension 

What to expect during a pediatric eye exam 

In addition to checking your child’s vision (both distance and near vision), we may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility: 

  • Focusing 
  • Peripheral vision 
  • Color vision 
  • Hand-eye coordination 
  • Binocular vision (how well the eyes work together as a team) 
  • Eye tracking 

Our eye doctor will also examine the area around their eyes and the structures inside their eyes to check for any eye diseases or health conditions. Remember to share any relevant aspects of their personal history, such as premature birth, developmental delays, a family history of eye problems, eye injuries, or medications your child is taking. This would also be the time to address any concerns or issues your child has that might indicate a vision problem. 

If our eye doctor determines that your child has a vision problem, they will recommend the best treatment to fit their needs. This may include prescribing glasses or contact lenses or referring your child to a specialist as needed.  

Schedule a pediatric eye exam in Santa Fe 

By scheduling regular pediatric eye exams, you can catch any issues early and prevent them from affecting your child’s learning and development. Contact us today to book your child’s eye exam in Santa Fe and give them the best chance of success in the future! 

Eye Exams

Comprehensive eye care goes beyond a glasses prescription or contact lenses and meets the needs for all primary eye care treatments.