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Q: How soon should I take my child for his/her first eye examination?
A: An infant should have his/her first eye exam at six months of age. Another exam should be scheduled at age three, and then again prior to your child entering kindergarten. If you are unable to afford a eye exam for an infant, the America Optometric Association funds InfantSEE. Under this program, AOA optometrists provide a comprehensive eye and vision assessments for infants within the first year of life regardless of a family’s income or access to insurance coverage.
Q: How can I tell if my child needs glasses?
A: Many children who need vision correction will have signs or symptoms that a parent or teacher may notice. However, there are many cases where there will be no signs or symptoms. The only way these cases will be uncovered is by a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist. The AOA recommends a complete examination of children at age 6 months, 3 years, before starting school, and every 2 years thereafter.
Q: How does vision affect learning?
A: Vision problems can and often do interfere with learning. People at risk for learning-related vision problems should be evaluated by an optometrist who provides diagnostic and management services in this area. The goal of optometric intervention is to improve visual function and alleviate associated signs and symptoms. Prompt remediation of learning-related vision problems enhances the ability of children and adults to perform to their full potential. People with learning problems require help from many disciplines to meet the learning challenges they face. Optometric involvement constitutes one aspect of the multidisciplinary management approach required to prepare the individual for lifelong learning.