In case you missed it, UAB Callahan Eye recently opened a new facility in Pelham! Conveniently located off Pelham Parkway near the I-65 exit, this clinic is a great location for families near Highway 119 and south. Dr. Carrie Smith recently sat down with us to tell us more about what they offer and why they’re a great option for your family’s eye care needs. Check out the video HERE if you haven’t seen it. Dr. Smith has been in eye care for almost eight years and joined this practice just last month. She understands a lot of our struggles and health concerns regarding children because she is a mom herself.
This particular clinic offers comprehensive eye care. The staff includes comprehensive optometrists, comprehensive ophthalmologists, and even a pediatric optometrist for all those kiddos under five. The clinic also has an on-site optical shop, where Callahan patients receive 15% off sunglasses and eyeglasses (not available with insurance).
Children should have their first eye exam between six months and one year of age. This exam includes a pediatric optometrist dilating and examining your child’s eyes. Taking your child for an exam when they are young can help uncover problems early that could cause issues later, especially if they remain undiagnosed. Dilation is necessary for these visits so that accurate prescriptions can be obtained.
After that initial visit, there is typically an exam around age three or five, and then every other year unless yearly visits are recommended by your provider. If you bring in a pre-reader for an exam, the office will use an eye chart with pictures or a matching game, so don’t be worried if your child has vision impairment symptoms before he or she can read letters.
How Do I Know My Child Has Vision Problems?
The most common signs a child has vision issues are squinting, headaches, eye or head tilting/turning, difficulty with schoolwork, trouble paying attention in class, or avoiding reading altogether. Kids are very adaptable, so they often won’t even realize they have a problem because they assume their vision experience is normal!
Eye Exam Versus Eye Screening
You may be wondering why you’d need to take your children for an eye exam when they regularly have eye screenings at their school or pediatrician’s office. Well, an exam is actually very different than a screening. Eye exams are the BEST and most accurate way to determine if there are problems with your child’s eyes.
Yes, kids should get their eyes dilated! It is so important to get a good view inside of the eye to spot any problems your child may have, including issues with nerves or the retina. This is also how congenital cataracts would be found early. Sometimes in children, the prescription they are given based solely on the eye chart isn’t correct, so dilation can ensure that your child has the best glasses to correct their blurry vision, too.
I’m sure we all know how difficult and anxiety-inducing eye drops can be for our little ones, so when you visit Callahan, you can take care of that. You probably know the best way to get drops in those little eyes, so the doctors are happy to let you do that for your nervous kiddo.
The most common issues seen in adults in their 30s-40s are dry eyes and eye strain/fatigue, other than typical vision correction and astigmatisms. We tend to spend a lot of time in front of screens, both at work and at home, so our eyes can need a little extra TLC. Excess blinking due to screens can lead to dryness, and intense focusing can easily make our eyes strained or fatigued.
To make an appointment at any of the UAB Callahan Eye locations, you can simply visit their website here or call them at 1(844)UAB-EYES.