How do you care for your child's vision? We asked Dr. Celesta Ferreira of Cypress Optique to share her thoughts on eye health for kids.
When should I first take my kid to the eye doctor and how often should they go?
Children should have their first eye exam between 6-12 months, or sooner if recommended by a pediatrician. Routine eye exams then begin at three years old and annually starting at five. This allows us to evaluate for proper muscle function, overall eye health, and to see if any significant prescriptions are present.
What's the difference between a school vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?
School screenings are very limited, only measuring basic vision function and any significant risk to visual health. Comprehensive eye exams include a complete evaluation of prescription, front and back of the eye health, testing muscle function, evaluating for any mild or severe ocular conditions and ruling out concern for risk of eye diseases in the future.
How can I help improve my kid's eyesight?
Make sure they are seen by an optometrist for an eye exam at the appropriate age ranges to rule out any significant concerns for eye health. Limit screen time and encourage outdoor activities, as it has been proven in studies that two hours a day of outside time can help limit the progression of myopia in children. If you see any signs of eye rubbing, squinting, eye turns in or out, complaints of headaches, trouble focusing when doing near work, schedule them for an eye exam! As a parent, you can catch the signs of eye troubles from simply watching how your child reacts when they read or focus.
My kiddo rubs his eyes a lot, what could this mean?
Eye rubbing can be an indication of a few main things: dry eyes, ocular allergies, or trouble seeing. If you notice them rubbing often, a comprehensive eye exam can differentiate whether we need to treat the symptoms or if the symptoms are a sign of blurred vision.
What can I expect during an eye exam for my child?
We will not only check for prescriptions, but ensure your child’s eyes are as healthy as they can be. They will be greeted by our friendly staff, complete a few simple tests with our technician, and then they meet me, Dr. C! During my exam, I make sure to explain to parents and kiddos what the tests are for. As a mom and a physician, I always make sure they are as comfortable and confident as they can be during the exam. Our kiddos leave with a special gift or toy, to let them know how amazing they did. Lastly, if they need glasses, the staff works with parents or guardians to find the perfect fit.
You're a mom of two young boys. What are you teaching them about eye health?
As mama and not just Dr. C, I am teaching my little guys to protect their eyes from the sun and from screens. I ensure, along with my husband, that we engage them in outdoor activities and if they have screen time, that it is limited and no devices that are handheld. My three-year-old knows mama wants the phone more than an arm's length away, we don’t sit close to the tv, and we don’t rub our eyes. It is so important to set the example, so we don’t have phones at the breakfast or dinner table. We limit TV time and focus on family time as much as possible!
10920 Fry Road Suite 550 Cypress, Texas