There are a number of eye problems that are genetic in nature and if your family has a history of having one, you should be wary because there is a high possibility that you may pass it to your child. In Singapore alone, one in two children develops myopia by the age of 12 and as soon as they reach 18, almost 83% of them develop the condition.
Moreover, there are many potentially serious eye problems that your child may encounter throughout his or her whole life. So, as a parent, you wouldn’t want to get your child to start off in a bad way. You would want to make sure that as early as possible, your child’s overall health is in check. Knowing health problems early on can keep a minor issue from becoming something serious in the future. Just as all medical professionals will never get tired of saying that prevention will always be better than the cure.
Nevertheless, it is important not to delay eye exams for infants and young children because some early eye problems can affect their vision for life. Also,even though your child’s pediatrician or your family doctor will screen your child’s eyes at birth and during regular checkups, there are times when a trip to an eye specialist or an ophthalmologist in Singapore may be needed.
What is an ophthalmologist?
Unlike optometrists who are basic eye care specialists, an ophthalmologist is an eye specialist that has a medical degree. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors that are trained to diagnose and manage a patient’s eye problem and can perform surgical procedures to treat the problem. They can also do eyeglasses and contact lenses prescription and they are capable of detecting subtle symptoms of an eye condition on a baby or small child.
Common signs of eye problems in children
In addition to myopia, astigmatism, eye allergies, eyelid infections and squinting are some of the most common eye problems in children. Parents should bring their child to see an eye doctor if they notice the following symptoms:
- Squinting to read or watch TV. It may be an indication that your child’s eye vision is not clear.
- Abnormally tilting their heads to see the screen. This may suggest that the eyes are not well coordinated.
- Blinking excessively. This may be a sign of unclear vision, tiredness, dryness or allergies.
- Tearing excessively. This may be a sign of glaucoma or blocked tear ducts.
- Rubbing their eyes excessively. This may be a sign of allergies or eyelid infection. Rubbing eyes profusely is also harmful, as it may bring about irreversible astigmatism and even cataracts and retinal detachments.
At what age can a child go to the ophthalmologist?
The earlier the better, you will be surprised to know that you can have your child checked by an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam as early as 6 months old. You could also schedule a follow-up eye exam as soon as they reach the age of 3. After this age, we recommend that you get your child’s eyes checked at least every two years for a regular check-up.
Why are children’s eye exams important?
An eye exam is an expert assessment of your child’s eye health and vision. Eye tests are extremely important to ensure that your child’s eyes are stable and there are no vision issues that can interfere with performance in school and can potentially impact his or her safety.
What to expect?
The details on how the eye exams are being conducted mainly depend on the age of the child and the severity of the condition in case there is one. At the clinic, eye evaluation will typically include a review of your child’s medical, vision testing and determining whether prescription glasses or other treatments are required. The eyes are also screened extensively to identify any specific allergies, inflammation of the lens, glaucoma, or retinal problem.
In some cases, an ophthalmologist would perform a method wherein dilating eye drops will be placed in a child’s eye to get an accurate assessment of a child’s spectacle degree. This dilating effect temporarily blurs the child’s vision but can be a necessary step in getting an accurate vision reading. It is completely safe and the doctor will discuss the procedure with you. This procedure is usually not being performed in an optical store which sometimes leads to less accurate spectacle degrees.
Scheduling your child’s eye exam
In scheduling your child’s eye exam, you need to plan when you should bring your child for a check-up. Meaning, your child should be in the age where he or she could understand you and the procedure that needs to be undertaken. You need to make sure that you orient your child on what will happen when you visit the doctor.
If you feel that your child needs to see an ophthalmologist here in Singapore, or you want to schedule for an eye exam, you may contact us at Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre which is located at #15-10 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road. You can call us at 6732 0007 to book an appointment.
Asia Retina – Eye Specialist in Singapore
#15-10 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd,
+65 6732 0007