Glasses may be an essential part of your child’s wardrobe if they suffer from one of the 3 common reasons why children see a pediatric ophthalmologist in Livingston. But glasses also serve other purposes in children, too. It’s true that some of the reasons why children need glasses differ from the reasons adults do. Because a children’s vision system is still developing through age 7-8, they may even need glasses as young children and eventually strengthen their eyes to the point that the glasses aren’t necessary. In this article, we will find out a few reasons why your child may need glasses, and when and where to start checking.
The main reason children need glasses is to improve their vision. It’s obvious, right? But children who suffer from refractive errors, like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism often see great improvement in their vision after being fitted for glasses at a pediatric optometrist.
Imagine being a child with myopia and just assuming that the way you saw the world was the way others saw it – blurry at a distance, like a mirage. When you get glasses at a pediatric optometrist, it changes your world – suddenly everything comes into focus! This is one main reason children get glasses.
Treat strabismus or amblyopia
As mentioned earlier, treating these common eye conditions usually starts with a glasses prescription. For strabismus, i.e. the misalignment of the eyes, and especially esotropia (inward-facing eyes), glasses reduce the focusing effort and enable the return of bifocal vision. A specialist in strabismus, like our pediatric eye doctor in Livingston, can determine the right glasses prescription and adapt it over time as the eyes improve.
For amblyopia, i.e. lazy eye, glasses can help straighten a child’s squint – a compensatory mechanism for the lazy eye. Since having a lazy eye results in the brain eventually “turning off” the development of vision in the eye, having glasses can also mean that the brain is reactivated and begins redeveloping the connection. In fact, in some cases, having the glasses makes the lazy eye go away by itself.
To protect a good eye
If one of your child’s eyes is not functioning properly, leaving him or her with only one “good eye”, you might find yourself investing in glasses to protect that good eye. These glasses may not correct vision, but they will ensure that the stronger eye doesn’t get injured.
When and where to get checked
Children should have their first eye exam with a children’s ophthalmologist at age 6 months, then at age 3 and before starting preschool. A specialist in pediatric ophthalmology, like our children’s eye doctor in Livingston, is best qualified to conduct these exams and create a treatment program for any conditions identified.
Our pediatric ophthalmology clinic in Livingston is the perfect setting to get your child feeling comfortable at the eye doctor. Our doctors are board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric ophthalmologists with years of experience treating children with common and not-so-common eye conditions. If your child is approaching his or her 6th month of age, schedule your first appointment today.