A children’s eye exam performed by a qualified pediatric optometrist is essential to assess your child’s vision and overall eye health. This is because they have the expertise, knowledge, experience, and clinical tools to thoroughly evaluate your child’s eyesight. Also, they can recommend suitable measures to improve their vision. Read on to learn how a pediatric eye doctor can help your child.
Why are Kids’ Eye Exams Important?
Eye exams for children can help detect any vision problems in the early stage. A professional eye doctor can check your child’s visual well-being, ensuring that it doesn’t interfere with their school performance and potentially affect their life. Moreover, kid’s eye exams are essential because children need the following visual skills for optimal learning:
- Sharp-sightedness at all distances
- Accurate eye movement
- Comfortable eye teaming skills
- Ability to focus comfortably and accurately
Vision Screening and Your Child’s Performance in School
Consulting a reputable kids’ optometrist near you at an early age is crucial because they will perform appropriate vision testing to assess your child’s eye health. It helps to know that identifying and treating any problems while the child’s vision is developing can help prevent severe issues. Moreover, the eye doctor will ensure they have the visual ability to perform well in school.
When Should You Have Your Child’s Eyes Professionally Examined?
According to qualified pediatric optometrists, it helps to have your child’s eyesight examined by a professional as early as possible. You may keep in mind the following:
- Initial consultation with a kid’s eye doctor around the age of 6 months will help ensure their eyes are healthy.
- Additional eye exams at the age of 3 years can assure their well-being.
- A thorough check-up is recommended around age 5 or 6, just before they begin the first grade.
- During the school years, it helps to visit a children’s eye doctor every 1-2 years for a check-up if they have had no prior vision concerns.
- Children who need eyeglasses should be examined annually and follow the instructions of the pediatric eye doctor.
Scheduling Eye Exams for Your Child
When scheduling an appointment with a pediatric optometrist for your child, be sure to choose a time when they are usually relaxed and happy. Typically, kids’ eye exams include a discussion on the condition of their eyesight, vision testing, including checking eye alignment, determining whether they need eyeglasses, and a thorough evaluation of their overall eye health.
The pediatric eye doctor may ask you questions about the following:
- Delayed motor development
- Frequency of eye rubbing
- Excessive squinting and blinking
- Any visible misalignment of the eyes
- Failure to steadily gaze when looking at objects or maintain eye contact
- Inadequate eye tracking skills
- Details of any current medications they take
In addition to answering these questions, be sure to mention if your child has failed a vision screening previously and any eye problems and treatments, including surgeries and glasses they wear. Also, inform the eye doctor about the details of the family history of eye diseases.
The pediatric eye doctor will also discuss the common eye problems in children, which include the following:
- Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
- Misalignment of eyes
- Lazy eye, also known as amblyopia
- Inability to maintain eye alignment when looking at objects that are nearby
- Focusing problems and colour vision
- Eyelid health concerns
Eye Testing for Preschool Children
Most parents are not aware that preschool-age children do not need to know their letters to undergo eye tests. The pediatric optometrist may recommend any of the following eye tests that are commonly used for children:
- LEA Symbols – are similar to regular eye tests using letter charts and have special characters or symbols such as a house, apple, circle, square, and more that kids can identify.
- Retinoscopy – is a test wherein the eye doctor will shine a light into your child’s eye to observe the reflection and study the response. This test is essential to determine their eyeglass prescription.
- Dot Stereopsis Testing – allows the pediatric optometrist to examine how your child’s eyes work together, using patterns of dots and 3-D glasses.
Our Pediatric Optometrist Can Help Improve Your Child’s Vision
At U Optical, we care about your eye health. In addition to having an extensive selection of eyewear, including prescription eyeglasses, we have qualified children’s optometrist to assist you. We will examine your child’s eyesight and provide suitable recommendations according to the diagnosis.
If you have any questions about kids’ eye exams, please call us at 416-292-0075. You could also fill out our online contact form to book an eye exam with us. We accept most major health plans and will be happy to guide you and your child.