What Should My Child's Eye Exam Include?

Dr. Jim Martin 08/12/2016

girl-at-eye-exam.pngHealthy eyes and vision are crucial for your child's development, and regular eye exams are an important part of the process. It's recommended that infants have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months, while school-aged children should have an exam every year.

As a parent, it's important to know what you should expect from your child's eye exams. While your pediatrician or family doctor is most likely to be the first medical professional to examine your child's eyes, a referral to an eye doctor might be made if vision problems are suspected.

Infant Eye Exams

Your eye doctor typically uses three tests to assess your infant's eyes:

A test that determines whether the pupil of the eye opens and closes properly in the presence or absence of light.
Testing to determine whether your child's eyes are able to follow and fixate on an object (such as a light) as it moves.
A test using cards that are blank on one side in which vision capabilities are assessed without a typical eye chart.

Pre-School Eye Exams

Several common eye tests are designed specifically for young children, including tests that are like typical eye chart exams, retinoscopy (shining a light into the eye to observe the reflection from the retina), and random dot stereopsis, which tests how well your child's eyes work together. Pre-school children do not need to know their letters to undergo certain eye exams.

How eye exams are conducted depends on your child's age, but generally include a case history, vision testing, determination of whether or not glasses are needed, testing of eye alignment, an eye health evaluation, and more. Your eye doctor will ask about your child's birth history, and questions about your pregnancy and whether there were any complications.

Common Vision Problems In Children

Your child is tested for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, as well as for other common vision problems, including:

Lazy eye (amblyopia) - Decreased vision in one or both eyes without evidence of damage to the eye).
Misalignment of the eyes (strabismus) - Crossed or misaligned eyes.
Convergence insufficiency - The inability to maintain eye alignment when viewing objects nearby. Your eye doctor will determine the ability of your child's eyes to pull inward and maintain proper alignment.
Normal function - Focusing ability, depth perception, and color vision.

It's important to tell your doctor if your child exhibits symptoms such as frequent eye rubbing, excessive blinking, poor eye tracking skills, failure to maintain eye contact, or if they've failed a vision screening at school. Contact Broome Optical in Amarillo today for your child's next comprehensive eye exam.

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