The Vision and Hearing Screening Process
Children develop incredibly quickly. With all of this rapid growth, and the standard amount of chaos that comes along with raising a child, it can be easy to miss new health problems. This is what makes regular screenings and check ups so important.
Early Warning Signs
Most congenital ear and eye conditions will likely be detected during these early developmental check up visits, but occasionally they may not fully present themselves until later in life. It is also entirely possible for a child to acquire a hearing or vision impairment at any time as thea result of an injury or infection.
There are multiple serious health conditions that can contribute to a child’s poor hearing or vision, which can be identified by early signs such as:
- Eyes or eyelids of an unusual shape
- Inability to recognize or respond to the faces of familiar people or objects by 3 months of age
- Overreaching or under-reaching for objects
- Needing to hold materials at an unusual distance in order to see them clearly
- Diminished or nonexistent response to loud noises
- Lack of speech
Approaching School Age
Around age 3, your pediatrician will begin to speak with you more about your child’s hearing and vision. These screenings are meant to make sure that your child is able to learn and develop as expected in the classroom. Once a child begins attending school, it can become clear right away that their hearing or vision abilities are not as they should be.
Even if your child only has minor problems with their hearing or vision, it can significantly impact them at school.
The most common types of ear and eye issues seen in children include:
- Ringing ears
- Feeling a fullness in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Muffled or distorted sounds
New Vision Screening Tool at Genesis Pediatrics
Recently, Genesis Pediatrics has implemented a new vision screening tool called the “Spot Vision Screener” which can easily detect vision issues on patients starting at 6 months of age. This quick and easy tool supports the AAP screening guidelines for early detection of amblyopia risk factors, and thus early referral to an Ophthalmologist for further evaluation.
Ongoing Examinations with Genesis Pediatrics
As previously mentioned, it is advised to take your child in for a well child visit with their pediatrician at least once every year after age 3. These typically consist of a general physical, which includes an evaluation of the child’s hearing and vision abilities, as well as other common indicators of their development such as height and weight.
Hearing and vision impairments can arise at any point in a person’s life. These can cause a variety of difficulties for anyone, but pose a particular threat to a child’s development if they are not addressed as soon as possible.
If you or your child’s teacher notices any unusual behaviors that could be caused by a condition of the eyes or ears, we urge you to schedule a vision and hearing screening for your child as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Genesis Pediatrics, please contact our office today by calling (585) 426-4100.