Children's Eye Exams

Trust your children's vision care to our residency trained pediatric optometrist at Artisan Optics Boise Idaho

Are parents overlooking the need to have their child cared for by a pediatric eye doctor? This is more common than you may think. Parents typically choose to have a pediatrician as their child's primary care physician, feeling more comfortable with a pediatric specialist overseeing their child's medical care. These same parents often opt to use a pediatric dentist, preferring to use a dentist specifically trained in pediatric dentistry and accustomed to working with children. Yet these same parents think nothing of taking their child to a general care eye doctor or a big box store for an eye exam. In this blog, we

Your child's eye care is important to us at Artisan Optics in Boise Idaho

Let's start with a few common misperceptions. Parents often believe:

  • My child will tell me if they are having difficulty seeing”. This is highly unlikely because the child has no point of comparison, and they think that everyone sees the way they do.

  • My pediatrician checks my child's vision and will tell me when it is time to take my child to the eye doctor”. Pediatricians provide vision screenings, not comprehensive vision exams. (see our blog Vision Screening vs Comprehensive Eye Exams).

  • My child is too young for an eye exam – they haven't learned how to read, and wouldn't recognize the letters on the eye chart”. In lieu of standard eye charts used with adults, pediatric eye doctors use age-appropriate testing. The recommended intervals for childrens eye exams is 9 to 12 months of age, at 3 years of age, at 5 years of age and each year thereafter unless recommended otherwise by the pediatric eye doctor.

  • All eye doctors are the same, so it doesn't really matter who I take my child to”. Not true. There are different types of eye doctors. For instance, optometrists can choose to complete the rigorous application process required to be accepted into a formal, residency training following graduation from optometry school. Optometrists selected for residency must complete a formal year-long mentored, clinical program within a specific area of specialty, such as primary care, pediatrics, disease, contact lenses, or neuro-optometry.

  • Taking my child to a childrens eye doctor will cost more”. Typically not. Most insurance providers provide a pediatric vision care component to coverage. When you take your child to an in-network provider you pay the same co-pay – whether you take your child to a general care eye doctor or a pediatric eye doctor. (see our blog The Affordable Care Act – Vision Care For Children)

 

There is awareness among parents about pediatric specific care when it comes to childrens medical and dental care, but what about vision care? Many parents are simply unaware that vision care is equally important. Let's explore why vision care, specifically comprehensive vision exams with a pediatric eye doctor, should be part of a well-child preventative care schedule.

  • 80% of all learning is visual. This statistic alone is reason enough to schedule an eye exam for your child with a pediatric vision specialist. One could make the association that if a child has difficulty seeing, they will have difficulty learning. (see our blog Getting Ready for School)

  • Vision affects development. Poor eye-hand coordination can result in delayed fine motor and gross motor development. Vision deficits also affect depth-perception and “position in space” which results in a child appearing to be clumsy or accident prone. (see our blog Vision Development)

  • Approximately 25% (1 in every 4) of school-aged children have a vision condition that affects their ability to achieve their full academic potential.

  • Vision and balance are highly integrated in the brain. Studies have shown that individuals with vision problems, including reduced visual acuity, experience increased incidence of vestibular and balance issues.

  • Vision and hearing, the visual and auditory portion of the brain, are closely connected and affect one another. Similar to the association of how smell affects taste. Some syndromes affect both vision and hearing, again thought to be the result of the close association of vision and hearing.

  • Vision and memory have a strong relationship, and produce visual processing. We form mental pictures and commit to memory what we see. Think of a child in school who sees a letter or number and that letter or number doesn't always look the same. It is very difficult to visually process and commit to memory numbers, letters, shapes or words.

 

As a parent you may be wondering “how do I choose an eye doctor for my child?”. A children's eye doctor, also referred to as a pediatric eye doctor, is the best choice because they are eye doctors who have advanced training in pediatric vision care. There are two types of children's eye doctors. The first is a pediatric optometrist and the other is a pediatric ophthalmologist. A pediatric optometrist specializes in both the health of the eyes and function of the visual system. A pediatric ophthalmologist specializes in surgical and medical procedures.

 

Surprisingly, it can be difficult to know if you are taking your child to a pediatric eye doctor. Some eye doctors advertise that they “specialize in children's vision” or are “experts in pediatric vision care”, etc. yet have no formal, advanced training in pediatrics. When you're ready to call an eye doctor's office, here are a few questions you should ask. You are looking for an eye doctor who has completed formal, residency training in pediatric vision care.

  1. Do you have an eye doctor on staff who specializes in pediatrics? If the answer is yes, proceed to question 2.

  2. Did the eye doctor complete a Pediatric Optometry Residency Program? If the answer is yes, proceed to question 3. If the answer is no, call another office.

  3. Where did the doctor complete the Pediatric Optometry Residency Program? Pediatric Optometry Residency Programs are year-long programs completed at universities and medical schools, dedicated to pediatric vision care.

 

Once you've confirmed that the eye doctor who will examine your child is a Residency Trained Pediatric Optometrist you can proceed with confidence. Jill A. Kronberg, OD, FAAO is a Residency Trained Pediatric Optometrist with Fellowship status. She completed her Pediatric Optometry Residency Program at the University of California Berkeley, and is the only Residency Trained Pediatric Optometrist in the Treasure Valley. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kronberg, call our office at 208.377.8899. No referral necessary. Dr. Kronberg is accepting new patients.

Give your child the best vision possible at Artisan Optics Boise Idaho

Posted by Artisan Optics at 2/23/2017 8:47:00 PM
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