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Annual Eye Exams: For All Children, Every Year

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You wouldn’t take your child to the dentist only when they complain of a toothache would you? Absolutely not. No, you faithfully take your child every six months as directed so you can be ahead of any problems. So, why would you only take your child to the Optometrist if he or she is complaining of vision problems? 

            Many young children do not know how to articulate their vision symptoms until they are older and by that time their condition may become more difficult to treat. As with everything, vision disorders are more easily treated the earlier they are caught. A good example of this is Myopia (nearsightedness.) The earlier myopia is caught, the better. We have many treatments at our disposal to control myopia and to keep it from progressing, especially when caught early on. Our Myopia Control Clinic utilizes Atropine drops, multifocal contact lenses, Ortho-Keratology lenses (also known as CRT) just to name a few treatments, to control myopia from progressing. 

            Beyond common vision disorders, annual eye exams can detect problems your child may not be aware of; such as color vision deficiency, retinoblastoma (a type of rare cancer found in the back of the eye, the retina), Keratoconus (a condition where your cornea becomes thinner and bulges like a cone) and many more. 

            The most common thing we hear in our practice from parents is, “my child doesn’t need an eye exam, his/ her eyes are healthy.” While that is often the case, the child does have healthy eyes, that doesn’t always mean they don’t have a vision disorder and unfortunately, sometimes the child’s eyes may not be healthy. You cannot tell simply by looking at someone if their eyes are healthy. Also, a pediatrician’s screening or school screening cannot take the place of an annual comprehensive eye exam. 

Make sure to make an appointment for your child now to prepare them for the second half of the school year.  925-743-1222.


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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