Eye Health is an Important Part of a Child’s Overall Wellbeing, Ophthalmologist Dr. Babak Shabatian Gives Advice to Parents

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The American Optometric Association estimates that as many as one in four school-age children have vision problems which hinder their classroom learning. However, a recent report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that less than 15 percent of all preschool children receive an eye exam. Los Angeles Ophthalmologist Dr. Babak Shabatian of CaliEye offers tips for parents regarding the eye health of their children.

Vision screenings are useful because they can detect or identify problems and catch them early, but then it is up to the parents to take the next step and obtain further evaluation and treatment

Pediatrician and doctor visits are an important aspect of monitoring a child’s health, but Los Angeles Eye Surgeon Dr. Babak Shabatian of CaliEye emphasizes that vision appointments are just as critical. The typical doctor check-up does not include a thorough eye exam which can catch vision problems before they can have an impact on a child’s ability to learn. A 2006 study published in the journal Optometry found that eye health is a better predictor of academic success than race or socioeconomic status.

Although public schools in California are required by law to have vision screenings for children, they are not required to have an eye examination, even if their screening shows failed results. The difference between eye screenings and examinations is that a screening only provides parents with information and education about eye care, while an eye care doctor outside of the school system prescribes and monitors treatment. Dr. Shabatian said that vision screenings should not take the place of a comprehensive eye examination which can only be provided by an eye care professional.

“As children grow up, they may experience changes in their vision which can impact their learning that they might not be able to detect without a vision assessment,” said Dr. Shabatian. “Vision screenings are useful because they can detect or identify problems and catch them early, but then it is up to the parents to take the next step and obtain further evaluation and treatment.”

A recent report from the CDC found that only 22 percent of preschool children receive vision screenings and less than 15 percent receive a comprehensive eye exam. Common vision disorders in children include amblyopia, strabismus, and refractive errors. Catching these problems early increases the likelihood of effective treatment, according to the report.

Dr. Shabatian offers tips that parents may look for in determining whether their child has a vision problem:

  •     Constantly rubbing the eyes
  •     Holding reading material very close to the face
  •     Squinting or closing one eye
  •     Sitting very close to the TV
  •     Inability to read the blackboard from a distance
  •     Difficulty playing sports which involve depth perception

“Even children who have 20/20 vision are not necessarily free from visual issues,” said Dr. Shabatian. “Along with pediatrician visits, parents should schedule a comprehensive eye exam to ensure not only the best vision for their child, but the best ability to learn and have a good quality of life.”


About Dr. Babak Shabatian
Dr. Babak Shabatian is a Board-Certified Ophthalmic Surgeon who practices comprehensive ophthalmology with a focus on advanced cataract surgery and LASIK. He received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and was Chief Resident at the prestigious North Shore – Long Island Jewish Hospital. He completed fellowship training in retina and vitreous diseases at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. He is frequently invited to lecture on topics of refractive and advanced cataract surgery. He has performed thousands of procedures with excellent and predictable results, and has a sense of compassion and positive energy with his patients. Dr. Shabatian states that eye surgery gives him the opportunity to transform lives in minutes, and he is committed to ensuring that his patients have a great experience at every level of their care.

About CaliEye
CaliEye has a team of committed, experienced professionals who offer only the greatest quality of care and safety to every one of our patients. Dr. Shabatian has performed thousands of procedures in Southern California using only the most state of the art equipment. CaliEye will address all of your questions and concerns with the highest level of respect and understanding. To learn more, call (310) 909-8880 or visit http://www.calieye.com.

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