Vision screening is a very important way to identify vision problems. During an exam the doctor looks for eye disease and checks to see if the eyes are working properly. Children with a family history of childhood vision problems are more likely to have eye problems.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children have their eyes checked by a pediatrician at the following ages:
All babies should have their eyes checked for infections, defects, cataracts, or glaucoma before leaving the hospital. This is especially true for premature babies, babies who were given oxygen for an extended period, and babies with multiple medical problems.
By 6 Months of Age
As part of each well-child visit, eye health, vision development, and alignment of the eyes should be checked.
At 3 to 4 Years of Age
Eyes and vision should be checked for any abnormalities that may cause problems with later development.
At 5 Years of Age and Older
Vision in each eye should be checked separately every year. If a problem is found during routine eye exams, your child's doctor may have your child see a pediatric ophthalmologist. A pediatric ophthalmologist is an eye doctor trained and experienced in the care of children's eye problems.
Learning disabilities are quite common in childhood years and have many causes. The eyes are often suspected but are almost never the cause of learning problems. Vision therapy will not improve a learning disability. Your child's doctor may refer your child for a thorough evaluation by an educational specialist to find the cause.