Dr. Puleo

Healthy vision is one of the most critical components of a child’s overall wellness. Beginning at birth, vision develops rapidly and is directly associated with many developmental milestones, including reading and hand-eye coordination. Over time, your child’s vision will impact how they learn, play, and interact with the world around them.

While some eye problems may be easier to spot, many ocular disorders can only be detected by a qualified eye doctor during a comprehensive eye exam. The team at Bergen Optometry is experienced in pediatric eye care. Rest assured that we’ll do whatever it takes to help your child achieve the best possible vision. 

Is your child having difficulty seeing clearly?

Vision problems in children aren’t always obvious. Some symptoms may be more noticeable, such as squinting or holding reading materials very close. However, these early signs are often subtle and are therefore frequently missed.

Your child may be experiencing a vision problem if he or she does any of the following:

  • Avoids reading and other close-up activities, such as doing puzzles or coloring
  • Works more slowly or has difficulty understanding relatively easy tasks
  • Frequently complains of headaches or tiredness
  • Has a short attention span or becomes easily distracted
  • Tilts head or covers one eye when trying to focus on something
  • Has unusual sensitivity to light
  • Experiences difficulty with coordination

Common Eye Disorders in Children

Your child’s vision can be impacted by many things, including the shape of the eye, the way the brain and eyes work together, and even other seemingly unrelated medical conditions. The good news is, most pediatric ocular disorders can be identified and treated for a positive outcome.

The most common eye problems in children are caused by the shape and alignment of the eyes, including:

Strabismus (eye turn) occurs when the eyes are not properly aligned. 

Amblyopia (lazy eye) occurs when one eye has weaker vision than the other due to an underdeveloped brain connection from not wearing glasses in the most vulnerable visual period. A child’s brain can easily visually adapt up to the age of 9, therefore it is very important during this developmental stage that the brain receives CLEAR visual input. This is many times achieved by wearing the proper glasses. 

Refractive Errors can result in blurry vision due to the shape of the eyeball or lens. 

There are three types of refractive errors:

  • Myopia, or nearsightedness, which is good vision close-up but poor distance vision
  • Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is good distance vision but poor vision up close
  • Astigmatism, which is imperfect vision regardless of distance

Dr. Puleo has pediatric optometric specialties in the following:

  • Treating amblyopia 
  • Teaching children vision therapy techniques to learn how to better team their eyes for distance and for reading
  • Myopia control using atropine and multi-focal contact lenses,
  • Binocular vision, which includes treating double vision, alleviating eye strain with homework and overall near work through means of prism and reading glasses
  • Fitting contact lenses for kids

When should a child have his or her first eye exam?

Routine eye exams play an important role in your child’s well-being and ability to learn. Many parents mistakenly believe that school screenings are the same as comprehensive eye exams. Even with 20/20 vision, your child may still have problems that can only be detected by an experienced eye doctor.

Newborns typically have their eyes examined before leaving the hospital. From there, experts recommend comprehensive eye exams at the following intervals:

  • Between 6 and 12 months
  • 3 years of age
  • Every other year throughout the school years

Let’s work together to help your child reach his or her highest potential. Schedule an appointment at Bergen Optometry today.

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