Children’s Eye Care in Tacoma
Support your child’s highest potential.
Healthy vision is one of the most important components of your child’s wellness. Here at Tacoma Eye at Westgate, we take pride in providing quality eye care for children in Tacoma.
Vision develops rapidly starting at birth and is tied to many developmental milestones, such as hand-eye coordination and reading. In the long term, your child’s vision will impact how they learn, play, and interact with the world.
While there may be some obvious signs of visual disorders, many vision problems can only be detected by a qualified eye doctor during a comprehensive eye exam at our Tacoma eye care center.
Schedule an appointment at Tacoma Eye at Westgate, and give your child the gift of clear vision.
Is your child having trouble seeing?
It is not always easy to spot vision problems in kids.
Some symptoms are more obvious, like squinting or holding reading materials very close. But often the early signs are subtle and can even be misdiagnosed.
Your child may be experiencing a vision problem if he or she does any of the following:
- Avoids reading and close-up work like coloring or doing puzzles
- Seems to work slow or not understand the task
- Complains of fatigue or headaches
- Has a short attention span or seems distracted
- Covers one eye or tilts head when focusing on something
- Shows sensitivity to light
- Exhibits difficulty with coordination
Common eye disorders in children
Vision can be affected by many things, including the shape of the eyeball, how the eyes and brain work together, and by other diseases or medical conditions. The good news is that many eye disorders can be successfully identified and treated.
The most common eye disorders are caused by the shape and alignment of the eyes, including:
Strabismus is when the eyes do not align properly. This is often referred to as “crossed eyes.”
Amblyopia is poor vision in one eye, and is sometimes referred to as “lazy eye.” It usually occurs before the age of eight. Infants born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk.
Refractive errors cause blurry images from the shape of the cornea (the front part of the eye), the shape of the physiologic lens (the lens in our eye) or blurry images can be caused by the overall length of the eye (also known as axial length). These conditions are fairly common and the blurry vision is treated with glasses & contact lenses. Refractive surgeries like LASIK can help.
There are four types of refractive errors:
- Myopia is when the overall length of the eye is longer than average resulting in better close vision than distant vision.
- Hyperopia is when the overall length of the eye is shorter than average. Patients may note poor up-close vision but distant objects are seen more easily.
- Astigmatism happens when the cornea is shaped in a way that creates imperfect vision at any distance.
- Presbyopia is age related near blur. It occurs when the focusing muscle in our eye weakens and the lens in our eyes become less flexible. This makes it difficult to see up close in our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s.
Eye exam schedule for kids
Routine eye exams are a crucial part of your child’s well being and readiness for learning. Many parents do not know that school screenings are not the same as eye exams. Even with 20/20 vision, your child can still have problems that only an eye doctor can detect.
Newborns have their eyes checked before leaving the hospital. And leading medical organizations recommend comprehensive eye exams for health, vision development, and alignment at these ages:
- At Tacoma Eye we recommend all children have their first comprehensive exam with an optometrist at age 5.
- Annually through age 18 or as advised by your eye doctor.
Support your child’s highest potential — schedule an appointment at Tacoma Eye at Westgate today.