A few years ago at this time, we faced the diagnosis that our toddler daughter needed glasses. Now, that seems completely normal. I can’t imagine my daughter without her glasses, they are such an integral part of her identity.
We asked the staff at Chittick Family Eye Care to answer some of the questions we faced in those early days, so that any of you facing this situation will not be “in the wilderness” like we were. Thanks to Dr. Ryan Witt for this information:
Q: When do I need to take my child to see the eye doctor?
A: Even with no vision problems we recommend the first eye assessment occurs at 6 months to 1 year of age. The eye doctor can check for abnormal amounts of refractive error, eye muscle abnormalities, and eye health problems at this visit. The State of Illinois requires an eye exam within one year of the first day of entering kindergarten and no later than Oct. 15.
Q: What are some signs that there is a problem with my child’s vision?
A: Common signs include complaints of blurred vision, covering an eye, squinting, rubbing eyes, holding things close, complaints of headaches, development of a head tilt, complaints of words moving on page, a noticeable eye turn, and consistently sitting close to TV.
Q: How can you tell my baby’s prescription when s/he can’t talk?
A: We use an instrument called a retinoscope, loose lenses, and fun targets to determine a baby’s prescription. Sometimes special eye drops need to be used to aid in this determination.
Q: I am overwhelmed with feelings of sadness as my child gets glasses. Is this normal?
A: Absolutely, we all want to take all of our children’s problems away. Just remember that most vision problems are treatable and there are many types of fun and stylish eyewear for kids.