Children's Eye Exams From Our Optometrist
Annual eye exams are just as important for children as they are for adults. When a child has an eye exam, the optometrist will screen for common vision problems. The issues that the eye doctor checks for during an adult eye exam differs from that of a child.
Vision Problems Screened For During a Pediatric Eye Exam
Vision problems in children tend to emerge between the ages of 18-months-old and 4-years-old. The issues commonly screened for include:
- Refractive Errors: During a pediatric eye exam, the optometrist will determine whether or not the child needs glasses. It is more uncommon for older children to need glasses; however, it is possible that a child could have a refractive error early in life.
- Strabismus: When a child's eyes are crossed or misaligned, it is called strabismus. This condition can appear shortly after the child's first birthday and can often be treated with eyeglasses.
- Amblyopia: Amblyopia is also known as a lazy eye. This condition occurs when one of the child's eyes is weaker than the other. Glasses can be used to treat the condition. In some cases, one of the lenses will be frosted, forcing the child to use the weaker eye which will help it get stronger.
Problems Your Child Can Experience As a Result Of Poor Vision and Vision Health
If your child is suffering from a vision problem, it can result in a variety of issues including:
- Poor grades: If your child has a refractive error, their schoolwork can suffer. If your child cannot see the board in class or the books that they are reading, their grades will suffer.
- Headaches: If your child has a refractive error and they are straining their eyes frequently to be able to see, it can result in frequent headaches.
- Rubbing the eyes: If your child has a vision issue, it can result in eye fatigue. Frequent rubbing can cause problems such blood-shot eyes and keratoconus. If your child rubs their eyes with an object like a blanket or the corner of a pillow, it can result in a scratched cornea.
What To Expect During Your Child's Pediatric Eye Exam
Due to your child's age, their eye exam will differ from yours in a few ways. If your child is very young, they may need to sit in your lap during the exam. The optometrist will test how your child can follow objects by moving lights or toys in front of their eyes. If your child doesn't know their numbers or letter, the optometrist will use an eye chart containing common objects that your child can name. To determine if your child's eyes are properly aligned, the optometrist will cover one eye and then the other. If your child's eyes move back and for during the test, they are misaligned. Finally, older children will be given eye drops to dilate their eyes so that the optometrist can get a good look and check the overall health of their eyes.
Since it is difficult for a child to know if they are having issues with their vision, it is essential that you take them for an annual pediatric eye exam so that they can get the vision care that they need. Our Optometrists at East Gate Optometric Clinic, an eye doctor serving Stoney Creek and Hamilton areas, can give your child a complete pediatric eye exam. If necessary, we will create a treatment plan to help improve your child's vision.