Regardless of age or physical health, it is important for everyone to have regular eye examinations. Good vision is not always directly correlated with good eye health. Most eye diseases actually happen in the back of the eyes (the retina) and unlike eye infections and abrasions, there are no pain receptors in your retina so there won’t be any pain to clue you in if something is wrong. Some things that Dr. Miller will be looking for in the retinal examination are holes, tears, retinal detachments, freckles (called a nevus) that need to be monitored, bleeding, signs of glaucoma and macular degeneration among many other things.
Annual eye exams are one of the best ways to protect your vision as it can detect eye problems at their earliest stage – when they’re most treatable. Regular eye exams will give Dr. Miller a chance to help you correct or adapt to vision changes. Even if you think your eyes are healthy, you still need an eye exam annually.
“I have at least a handful of patients a month that feel like their vision is good only to find out that they had simply compensated or adapted. Their eyes ‘didn’t know what they were missing'” – Dr. Miller
Why is it important to get an Eye Exam done when your child has already had a Vision Screening?
Vision screenings are there to indicate a vision problem, they are referred for further evaluation.
However, a vision screening can’t be relied on to provide the same results as a comprehensive eye examination.
Screenings can take many forms. Often schools provide periodic vision screenings for their students. A pediatrician or other primary care physician may do a vision screening as part of a school physical. When applying for a driver’s license, your vision will likely be screened. Vision screenings are often part of local health fairs put on by hospitals, social service agencies or fraternal groups like the Lions and Elks clubs.
Vision screenings can uncover some vision problems, but they can miss more than they find. This is a major concern about vision screening programs.
Current vision screening methods cannot be relied on to effectively identify individuals who need vision care. In some cases, vision screening may actually inhibit the early diagnosis of vision problems. Screenings can create a false sense of security for those individuals who “pass” the screening but who actually have a vision problem. These people are then less likely to receive treatment for their vision problem and it could become worse.
Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to learn in school and participate in sports. They can also affect an adult’s ability to do their job or to drive safely. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less it will impact an individual’s quality of life.
What are the limitations of vision screening programs?
To understand why vision screenings may not find a vision problem, let’s look at the factors that can limit their effectiveness.
People often misunderstand what passing a vision screening means. The information obtained from a vision screening is comparable to the information obtained from a blood pressure measurement. Your blood pressure may be in normal range, but that doesn’t mean that you do not have other health problems. It’s merely a single measure of one aspect of your overall health. Just like you need a complete physical to evaluate your total health, only a comprehensive eye and vision examination can evaluate your overall eye health and vision status.
Wondering what a toddler exam consists of and how it’s done?
With toddlers, 98% of the testing done is objective, trying to make sure they are not “out of the norm” for their age. For example, a 2 year old should not be nearsighted. If the retinoscopy shows that there is some nearsightedness then we have to dig deeper, fine tune and prescribe glasses. A certain degree of farsightedness is normal for toddlers but if higher than that, then we have to dig deeper. High farsightedness is very tricky because kids are great at focusing “through it” & appearing as if – and also thinking themselves that-their vision is fine, when in reality, their eyes are working too hard. That can result in learning difficulties later in life as well as to some misdiagnosis of dyslexia and ADHD. Another possibility is the patient hae astigmatism. The difficulty with children who have astigmatism that needs correction is that a lot of times they grow up learning what things are based on what they look like to them and not what they actually look like (astigmatism stretches & skews & distorts things so similar letters & numbers like O/C/G or 8/S/B are hard to tell apart; round headlights get stretched and look more like starbursts).
Other things such as looking for early signs of eye turns, making sure that the eye muscles are working properly, checking color vision and depth perception are additional things that will be done at your child’s eye exam.
Now that you can see the importance of getting your child’s eyes checked by an eyecare professional, and have learned how it’s done, give us a call (or send us a text!) to schedule your family’s eye appointments. We look forward to seeing you!
“Doctor Miller and her staff are amazing! So friendly, outgoing and knowledgeable! Very impressed with her staff and how they treat children. The assistant even got on his knees to help her make sure her eye glasses would fit properly! I definitely recommend Dr. Miller and her staff to anyone and everyone!” – Eder Tabitha (Facebook)
“Dr. Dina Miller was amazing with my little one who was only 3 at the time! Dr. Miller was able to identify a major problem that I was completely unaware of at the time. She directed us to a specialist who we have been working with ever since. Had we not going to Dr. Miller, I’m not sure how long the problem would have gong undiagnosed. I am so thankful for her, for her abilities, and her bedside manner with my little one!” – Jorie R. (Yelp)