15 answers

At What Age Should Child Start Seeing Optometrist?

Hi Ladies -

I have a 4 y/o daughter who, as far as we know, has perfect vision. My vision insurance is coming up for renewal and I haven't decided if whether I should enroll her in the plan or not. I'm thinking that perhaps she's too young to have her vision checked, but I believe in the saying that it's better to be safe than sorry. I did some research online and the information suggests taking her in before kindergarten. Although the schools do vision testing, it's pretty basic compared to what an optometrist will screen/check for. So I am just wondering at what age did other wise mamas start taking their kids in for yearly vision screenings.

Thanks in advance for your advice/suggestions.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the great responses! I've decided to add my daughter to the vision insurance plan and get her in to see an optometrist. While I didn't have to wear glasses until I was in my 20s, my husband has been wearing glasses since he was a young kid (he actually had lasik surgery in his late 20s). So to be on the safe side, I will have her vision checked by an optometrist.

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My optometrist has said that 3 or so is good. If for nothing else then to get a baseline. If I remember correctly, if there are problems, they are pretty set by the time the child is 7-8. So, if there is a problem the earlier it's found the better the chance of correcting it. My 3 1/2 yr old daughter has an appt. Mon. with my dr.

ETA-I didn't read the responses before submitting. My 7 yr old just went a couple of weeks ago. Someone mentioned dilating the eyes. That's not done.

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Growing up my regular doctor checked my eyes yearly with a chart, so pretty basic, but gave an idea of my vision. I think she also usually checked my eyes a little more. I didn't see an eye doctor until I was in high school and having trouble seeing the board in class sometimes. I think you could go either way and have them checked or wait if she is showing no problems and have her regular doctor and the school check them. If you have any history of eye problems then maybe it would be better to check them sooner.

My husband and I own a optometry practice that
sees the whole family including a specialization
in peds. It is important to have her eyes checked
yearly as kiddos don't know that their vision is
different than anyone elses. A dr's office and the school
does only a vision screening which misses 20% of
children with visual difficulties. Also considering that 80%
of a childs learning is visually related it is so very
important to do it early. We own a practice in Gilbert, Carlsson family eye center and we would love to have you as patients. Good luck ;)

I took my daughter when she was 3 because she was getting ready to start preschool. I thought it was good time for her since she communicates well and knows her abc's and numbers.

My optometrist has said that 3 or so is good. If for nothing else then to get a baseline. If I remember correctly, if there are problems, they are pretty set by the time the child is 7-8. So, if there is a problem the earlier it's found the better the chance of correcting it. My 3 1/2 yr old daughter has an appt. Mon. with my dr.

ETA-I didn't read the responses before submitting. My 7 yr old just went a couple of weeks ago. Someone mentioned dilating the eyes. That's not done.

Our ped did a basic vision test, at age 4 or 5 for my son, he didn't do well the first time, and a year later they did it again and sent us on to a optometirst. andhe did end up wiht glasses.

A couple of ideas, we have a vision and blindness resource center in our area, that actually go around to some preschools and do basic testing, i bet if you called them you could bring her in and have it checked that way.

you might also beable to find directions online or something to print out and hold a certain distance away from her and check that way, not super accurate but could get you by for a while.

I don't handle our insurance, if this is something you can put off for just one year, i think i would wait to enroll her, if this is something that you either do now or miss out on for three years, i would enroll her. especially if mom and dad need corrective lenses. Just what i am seeing is that kids are being identified in kindg, maybe 2 of the 20 kids, then in first grade, 5 of 20 and by third grade more like half. this isn't super accurate but the chances of having perfect vision by the end of elementary school if both parents have glasses seems slim to me.
Call an eye dr and ask.

I think that before they start school they should see the eye doctor. I know the pediatricians offices do them, but honestly they are not very good at it. I've watched them numerous times with my kids and others and can see that they are not paying close attention. I think that unless there is a huge problem they mark them as normal.
Personally, I would put her on and have her eyes checked.

My mom (who is a RN) always said that until our doctor suggested we see one or we had a problem seeing, there was no need to see an optometrist. I feel the same way with my son. If he has any sort of eye problems that his doctor or I notice than we will make sure he goes, otherwise it is just an added extra cost. Why force her to have her eyes dilated if she isn't having problems? Good luck!

At 4 years old, it would be good to get them checked. Even if she doesn't know her abc's they will use common shapes that she can name. I know I took my kids before kindergarten. Young kids don't always know when there is a vision problem to tell you about it. I have helped to do vision checks at the school and yes, they are more basic then the optomitrist, but we still check for color blindness, myopea ( I think it was called) and distance. I was amazed how many kids couldn't read the eye chart at 20 feet, and weren't wearing glasses. I'd take her in now so she realizes that it's not a scary process and make sure things are normal.

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