Wellness Tip Of The Month
The Life-Saving Importance of Eye Exams for Children
For all of us, eyes not only provide vision, but they allow doctors and clinicians to view the body's inner workings. Our eyes tell us crucial stories about health, and sometimes they reveal truths about diseases, dysfunctions, and the impact of stress. In children, this ability to see health issues can be of even greater importance.
An Insightful Narrative
In a recent posting in Healio (an optometry news source), Dr. Garineh Nersisyan, an optometrist in Southern California, related a story about one of her pediatric patients, a 14-year-old girl. The patient was complaining of blurred vision and headaches for over a year. After an ocular health exam, the doctor noticed something different in her nerves and suspected a true bilateral papilledema. The patient was referred to a neuro-ophthalmologist for an MRI and further testing.
A week later, the ophthalmology report stated, "MRI shows presence of a large midline posterior fossa mass," which is a tumor. These are words an optometrist hopes to never see. Thankfully, the mass was detected early enough; the girl underwent a craniotomy and the tumor was removed successfully.
This situation could have been much worse. If the girl had waited longer for an exam, the tumor could have been deadly. This example illustrates the need for early and regular optometric exams for children. Early detection of diseases and health concerns is the best path to avoid more serious situations. The American Optometric Association recommends a health check at six months of age, the first comprehensive eye examination at three years, and check-ups every one to two years thereafter. Yet, it is estimated that 86% of children begin the school year without having their eyes checked.
Ensuring that you are not in this 86% can help protect the health of your child. Ask your Eye Care Hawaii clinician about our pediatric exams to learn more.