Many parents ask us, “When should I bring in my child for an eye exam?”
We believe eye exams for children are very important. We are able to provide thorough eye exams for children at around four years of age. It is helpful for them to be able to identify shapes, know the alphabet or identify numbers 0 through 9. We can identify vision problems in addition to the monitor the ocular health and possible need for a prescription or if necessary, direct them for vision therapy.
Once the child enters school and has no need for vision correction, we recommend an eye exam every two years. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses often need more frequent care. We recommend comprehensive eye exams annually.
Basic visual skills are important for learning. Children need good:
Pediatrician do a wonderful job of checking for serious eye disease and dramatic eye turns. Pediatricians are often the first medical professional to examine the child’s eyes. If eye problems are suspected during routine physical examinations, a referral might be made to pediatric ophthalmologist or pediatric optometrist for further evaluation.
It is preferable to perform a pediatric eye exam, when your child is alert and likely to be cooperative. Pediatric eye exams offer certain challenges, and the process can vary for a child’s eye exam. are conducted depend on your child’s age, but an exam generally will involve a case history, vision testing, determination of whether your child will benefit from eyeglasses, testing of binocularity, an eye health examination and a consultation with you regarding the findings.
Be sure to tell the staff and the eye doctor of the reason(s) you want to have your child’s eyes examined or if your child has failed a pediatrician or pre-school vision screening. Please include in the history of behaviors such as frequent eye rubbing, frequent blinking, fails to maintain eye contact, seems unable to maintain a gaze (fixation) while looking at objects, has poor eye tracking skills.
The case history form will ask about your child’s birth history (also called perinatal history), such as birth weight and whether or not the child was full-term. It can also be important for the doctor to know if your child has a history of prematurity, demonstrates any developmental delays, or if complications occurred during the pregnancy or delivery. The history includes your child’s medical history, current medications and any allergies.
Your eye doctor will also want to know about previous ocular diagnoses and treatments involving your child, such as possible surgeries and glasses or contact lens wear. Be sure you inform your eye doctor if there is a family history vision concerns, such as eye turns (strabismus) or a lazy eye (amblyopia), or vision corrections for astigmatism, farsightedness (hyperopia), or nearsightedness (myopia).
Besides looking for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism (refractive errors), your eye doctor will be examining your child’s eyes for signs of these eye and vision problems commonly found in young children:
It is often reported that 80% of what your child learns in school is through vision. A child with a problem with their vision will potentially have more difficulty competing in the classroom and playground. Be sure to schedule a complete eye exam for your child prior to the start of school.