Dr. Ambati and his highly skilled team in Eugene provide excellent eye care for children.

How do I know if my child is not seeing well?


Generally most parents know if a child is experiencing vision problems. Infants can generally fixate and follow moving objects. If an infant does not respond to you or bumps into walls or one of their eyes doesn't move properly (e.g., it turns in or out), those can be signs of poor vision, and you should bring your child to an optometrist or pediatric ophthalmologist for evaluation.

What precautions should I take during play or sport for my children?

First, if there is any significant chance that your child could get poked in the eye (fencing, shooting (even BB guns), insist on proper precautions. Always wear protective goggles or safety glasses. Never look down the barrel of a BB gun or a real gun. Don't let your kids play-fight with sticks. If your child is with you while you are gardening or landscaping, remember that thorns and bushes are often at eye level for a child; consider having them wear safety glasses or goggles in that situation. Eye injuries can occur at any time, in any place, so proactively assess the play area for potential hazards. Adequate prevention is important and could probably eliminate most eye injuries. About half of injuries occur in sports and recreational activities--more often in children and teens than any other age group.

What should be done if my child's eye gets hurt?

If there is a chemical injury, immediate irrigation with water is critical. Flush the eyes and face with any available source of water for at least 10-15 minutes. Follow up immediately with a trip to the emergency room or ophthalmologist. If a sharp object has penetrated the eye (like a fish hook), do not pull it out, but transport the person to the emergency room as soon as possible. Other blunt or sharp injuries should be examined by an ophthalmologist, since the serious nature of the injury may not be readily apparent.

When should my child get an eye exam?

A pediatrician or family physician should generally check a healthy child's eyes between 3 and 5 for vision and alignment of the muscles. If vision is below-normal, the child should be referred to an pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist for evaluation for glasses and a full eye exam (including dilation). If there is a family history of early childhood eye problems, earlier eye examination may be warranted.

Are there any important things to note in terms of diet or lifestyle?

Insufficient sunlight (<14 hours of sunlight/week) has been linked to onset and worsening of nearsightedness. There are some studies that indicate that excessive (more than 2 hours/day) screen-viewing (television closer than 6 feet, phone, or video games) can induce nearsightedness. With respect to diet, Vitamin A (found in vegetables like carrots and dark green leafy vegetables) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, flaxseed, walnuts almonds) are important for development of eye tissues.

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To learn more about children's eye care contact us in Eugene at 541-343-5000.