pediatrics

Children’s Vision

Dr. Kimball & Dr. Erickson both understand how important your child’s vision is to you as a parent. The doctors at Midland Eye Associates especially enjoy seeing children and helping them feel comfortable in the office and during their eye exams.

80% of everything children learn comes through their eyes, and uncorrected vision problems can impact a child’s ability to learn and interact with the world around them. Many parents don’t think about their children’s vision unless they have trouble reading the board at school. However, one in every four children has a vision problem that can interfere with learning and behavior.

Midland Eye Associates is family-friendly. Our entire staff will go out of their way to help your child enjoy their time with us. Parents are welcome to participate in every part of the eye exam. And, should your child need glasses, you will find an exciting collection of eye wear in the latest fashions in our optical department.

We hope to see you soon!

toddler girl

Free 3 Year Vision Screenings

Ages & Stages

INFANT

infant

Your infant needs to learn to use his or her eyes and learn to see just like they need to learn everything else. Your baby’s eyes will be checked by your Pediatrician at birth and at well-baby visits. Your Pediatrician is your best first stop if you suspect anything unusual with your baby’s eyesight and eye muscle coordination development. They will know if your baby’s eyes are developing normally, or if it would benefit you to come see us for a complete eye exam.

Babies often have eyes that are turned in, turned out or not working as a team, a condition known as strabismus. If this problem doesn’t resolve itself by the age of three or four months, this is something to consult with your Pediatrician about getting your baby’s eyes examined.

PRE-SCHOOL

preschool girl

Pre-school children, and up to age 6, will be fine-tuning their vision. This is the prime time to catch and correct any problems, because the visual system is still flexible and correctable. Since it is so essential to diagnose issues early in this stage, we offer free 3-year-old vision screenings.

Watch for the warning signs of visual problems, such as sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close, squinting, head tilting, eye rubbing and sensitivity to light. Farsightedness and strabismus are common problems with this age group. However, some problems might not have noticeable signs and can only be diagnosed with a complete eye exam.

SCHOOL-AGED

school aged group kids

School-age children should receive regular eye exams. Children who wear glasses or contact lenses should receive annual eye exams. While a vision screening by the Health Department or a school nurse can alert parents to potential vision problems, these are not complete eye exams and don’t look at the health of the eye or for any underlying problems. A good education for your child depends on good vision. Your child’s eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. When his or her vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will also suffer.

Your child may need an updated eye exam if they have tendencies to lose their place while reading, hold reading material closer than normal, rub their eyes, develop headaches during the day, turn or tilt head to use one eye, or use finger to maintain place while reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should my children get their eyes examined?

The best time to have your child’s eyes examined for the first time is at age 3. If your child has an eye condition or needs corrective lenses, we recommend an annual exam. If your child doesn’t have any known issues with their eyes, we recommend at least an exam every 2 years to confirm continued eye health and good eye sight.

My child gets vision screening at school, isn't that good enough?

No. School screenings are designed to detect common problems, such as trouble seeing distance, and alerting parents to potential problems. However, they may not catch everything, including astigmatism and blurred vision.

What is Lazy Eye?

“Lazy eye” , or Amblyopia, occurs when one eye is used less than the other. If your child has one eye crossed or turning out, it is causing them to see double, so they actually learn to “shut off” or ignore that eye. If the two eyes are very different, one nearsighted and the other farsighted, the same thing can occur. After a while, vision in the unused eye is reduced.

Lazy eye is most easily treated when discovered when your child is about 3, or at least by 6 years of age.

When can my kids wear Contact Lenses?

The answer to this question is really on a case-by-case basis. The two most important things in fitting children are responsibility and motivation. They must be able to show enough responsibility to take care of their contact lenses, and they must be motivated to wear them. Without motivation, they will not go through the difficulty of insertion and removal training. On average, this seems to be around 12 years old.

What impact does computer & mobile devise use have on my children's eyes?

As children increasingly use both computers and digital devices for education and recreation, we are increasingly seeing impacts to their vision.

Extensive viewing of the computer screen can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. While children tend to enjoy focusing in on games and fun activities for long periods of time, “Accommodative” problems may occur as a result of the eyes’ “locking in” to a particular target and viewing distance. And, eye irritation may occur because of poor tearflow over the eye due to reduced blinking.

Children who extensively play with or use computers and/or devices on a daily basis should have a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis.

What kind of eye conditions are common in children?

Amblyopia – Also commonly called “lazy eye”. Please see the question and answer above.

Strabismus – This is the misalignment of the eyes, often caused by a congenital defect in the positioning or strength of muscles that are attached to the eye and which control eye positioning and movement.

Convergence insufficiency – This is the inability to keep the eye comfortably aligned for reading and other near tasks. Convergence insufficiency can often be successfully treated with vision therapy, a specific program of eye exercises.

Focusing problems – Children with focusing problems (also called accommodation problems) may have trouble changing focus from distance to near and back again (accommodative infacility) or have problems maintaining adequate focus for reading (accommodative insufficiency). problems often can be successfully treated with vision therapy or prescription glasses.

Eye teaming problems – Many eye teaming (binocularity) problems are more subtle than strabismus. Deficiencies in eye teaming skills can cause problems with depth perception and coordination.

If you suspect your child has an eye condition, please don’t wait to have their eyes examined. The earlier the condition is recognized, the more success we will have in treating or limiting the condition.

Protective Eyewear for Kids

Did you know eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States, and most injuries occur in school-aged children playing sports? Ninety percent of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided with the use of protective eyewear. Protective eyewear is 10 times more impact resistant than ordinary corrective lenses. It includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards designed for a particular sport.

If your active child needs to wear corrective lenses and needs eye protection, we can help find the best solution. This often depends on the type of sport or activity they play, as well as their personal comfort level.

young girl mountain biking

WE CAREFULLY SELECT EYEWEAR BRANDS FOR KIDS THAT ARE DURABLE & FASHIONABLE

Midland Eye Associates

217 N. Saginaw Rd.
Midland, MI 48640

Call: 989-631-2653

Office Hours

Monday: 8:00 - 5:00
Tuesday: 8:00 - 5:45
Wednesday: 8:00 - 5:45
Thursday: 8:30 - 7:45
Friday: 8:00 - 5:00
Closed Saturday & Sunday

think about your eyes
affiliate tlc laser eye centers