At Tri-State Optical Center, we are often asked at what age children should receive their first exam. According to the American Optometric Association, infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade — at about age 5 or 6.
For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually or as recommended by their optometrist.
Along with checking refractive error (near-sighted, far-sighted, astigmatism) and ocular health, our optometrists will also evaluate many basic skills related to eyesight, which are critical for learning, including:
- Distance vision
- Near vision
- Eye movement and tracking skills
- Binocular vision (using the two eyes together)
- Focusing ability
Appropriate vision testing at an early age is vital to insure your child has the visual skills he or she needs to perform well in school.
A child who is unable to see print or view a blackboard can become easily frustrated, leading to poor academic performance. Some vision problems, such as lazy eye, are best treated if they are detected and corrected as early as possible while the child's vision system is still developing.