Eye Exams Important for Early Detection of Children’s Vision Problems


Did you know that children need good vision for proper physical development, academic success and overall well-being? That’s why it is important for children to have their eyes examined regularly to detect vision problems at an early age.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) reports that at least 5 percent to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. These problems create complications when for the eyes try to send accurate and clear messages to the brain. If not detected early, some vision problems may be difficult to correct.

Eye exams help to ensure children develop these important vision skills:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Visual acuity
  • Eye tracking
  • Eye focusing
  • Eye teaming
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Visual perception

The AOA recommends that children should have comprehensive eye exams by their pediatrician, family doctor, ophthalmologist or other qualified health professional at these ages:

  • Before their first birthday – A series of tests will be conducted to ensure both eyes are developing correctly
  • Between the ages of 3 and 3½ – Children’s vision and eye alignment will be assessed, as well as the ability to focus at far, middle and near distances; vision acuity tests may be conducted as well
  • Before entering first grade – An ophthalmologist should check for vision acuity and alignment; depending on the screening results, the doctor will recommend follow-up exams every one or two years

Learn more about how kids’ vision affects their learning and performance.