As they say, hindsight is 20/20—and that is definitely true with my experience navigating the world of childhood eye exams and glasses for my son: Before my sweet Asher was prescribed glasses at the age of 2, I never had him professionally examined by an ophthalmologist. His pediatrician never suggested anything about it. And it never really crossed my mind to have his vision screened, since neither my husband nor I were glasses wearers.
Now I know it never hurts to take those preliminary measures—which I wish I would have done before more seriously problems began to arise. And no time is better to get your little ones' eyes examined than August, National Eye Exam Awareness Month!
In honor of that and in an effort to help other parents, here's what I'm learned about raising a cute little wearer of eyeglasses.
You should get an exam even if you don't suspect a problem
No vision issues, no problem, right? WRONG. My sweet boy never showed signs of any delays with his vision. It wasn't until one night when I was giving him and bath and noticed his left eye turning inwards that I knew something was going on. Just because there is no vision problem history with mom or dad doesn't mean you shouldn't take you kids to get their eyes checked yearly.
Infants should get eye exams, too
I would never have guessed that perfectly healthy babies need routine eye exams, but they do. There's even a program called InfantSEE that specializes in free eye exams for babies under the age of one. And as a matter of fact, the American Optometric Association recommends babies have their first eye assessment around 6 months of age. Healthy eyes play a large roll in the overall wellbeing of your child!
Most insurance plans cover eye exams
And I'm not talking about vision insurance—although those usually cover one yearly exam to a certain extent. I'm talking about medical insurance. I think one misunderstanding with vision exams is that medical insurance doesn't cover them. Most medical insurance plans cover routine eye exams and any additional medical eye care for children.
Don't be startled by imperfect vision
It is estimated that more than 25 percent of children in the United States wear some form of a vision-correcting device, e.g. glasses, contacts, etc. I know when my little guy first got them I was so heartbroken and worried for him. In reality I wasn't prepared. I wasn't educated about glasses or vision impairments; I knew absolutely nothing and that terrified me. Now that we have nearly three years of glasses-wearing under our belt (and more education on my end), I'm confident that we are making the best decisions for him.
Kids in glasses rock!
My little guy's first pair of glasses were the classic plastic Miraflex ones. After being in them for about six months we quickly realized that he needed something a little more his style. After searching for months and checking every optical shop for some that fit, I had no luck. Then I came across a wonderful company online called Jonas Paul Eyewear and they fulfilled his glasses needs. Since then, he's been wearing their frames fulltime and we LOVE them—they are truly made for busy little boys like Asher!
In just a few years, I went from being scared by the idea of children's eyeglass to being a true fan. (Most of all because they help my son's vision—but also because he's so cute wearing them!) I hope this also helps empower you to get your children's eyes examined.