We have come so accustomed to the idea that while our child goes to their Pediatrician yearly for a physical, and at the same time they do receive an eye test. Yes, you know the eye chart that hangs on the wall, the nurse asks your child to cover one eye and read the smallest line possible, then switch eyes. Once in with the Pediatrician, their eyes are examined for tracking the light and yes, the Pediatrician looks in each eye, but do they get the full story of what is going on with your child’s eyes? Simply put no, they do not. There are many eye diseases and problems that these simple tests do not pick up.
I was definitely reminded this once again when Selena started having subtle eye problems. I remember a good friend of mine when my older children were young who was used in an advertisement for an Optometrist by taking all her children, even her 6 month old baby in for eye exams. By doing so they picked up an eye condition very early in her infant and by age 1 she was fitted for a pair of glasses, which within the next couple of years was watched closely and corrected 100% by the corrective lenses prescribed at such a young age.
I look at my grandson who has a very obvious lazy eye, the eye that is affected roams and crosses. Just turning 2 now, he has been wearing patches for his condition for 9 months. You would think that this would have been caught so easily by his Pediatrician, but guess what, it wasn’t. It wasn’t until those who provide the total care for him 24/7 mentioned that they were seeing a problem before he was referred to a specialist.
I have always had my children’s eyes examined by a professional Optometrist by age 6. If anything we get a good base line, know how well their eyes are working together, which allows us to watch for problems down the road. I just can’t emphasize enough that the younger your child is when problems with the eyes are discovered the better the chance of fixing the problem.
I thought this was a good article on the importance of having someone besides your Pediatrician examine your child’s eyes.
Another area while you are thinking of the eyes is why not have a baseline ear test done by a professional? I know Selena has already had this done, I just wish at the time that Seattle Children’s Hospital referred her for a hearing test they would have done the eye exam as well. Why do I say it this way? You see there is a history of blindness in my family, this information was shared with the genetic nurse during the genetic screening. Somehow she picked up deafness, which doesn’t even run in our family and missed the blindness. I don’t regret having Selena’s hearing screened, not at all. For me that is normal to do, I know when I was in school a specialist always came out and screened every child in the school for hearing problems. While this not the norm these days and we have to depend on ourselves to question a child’s hearing, so again I encourage having this important screening done too.
We call our children our precious babies, we protect them from so many things, and pray that they will remain healthy. Guess what it is up to us, to make sure every aspect of their health is checked, looked into, examined, and corrected. Don’t wait until the problem is so obvious that there is no correcting to be done.