Pediatric Eye Exams: Why It’s Important and What to Expect

It is common for pediatricians to carry out a visual screening during your child’s annual physical. However, this should not be considered an eye examination. It is important to ensure your child receives a pediatric eye exam. 

A thorough examination is performed by an eye doctor using specific diagnostic and clinical tools and assessments. The examination helps determine your child’s visual abilities as well as ocular health. 


Importance of Pediatric Eye Exams

Pediatric eye exams are very important when you consider many learning skills depend on visual skills. Visual skills include accurate eye movements, binocular vision, and the ability to see objects at a distance. Having strong visual skills will help ensure your child can learn effectively. Experts recommend that kids have their first eye exam long before they begin school. This will help prepare them as they approach each stage of their development. 


Comprehensive Eye Exams

Comprehensive eye exams are different from vision screenings. Vision screenings are conducted to determine whether the child has vision problems that can affect the ability to learn. Passing a vision exam does not mean that your child will not require a comprehensive eye exam. 

Vision screenings are not used for checking vision problems that affect kids. A comprehensive eye exam can identify eye issues that can cause problems. Pediatric eye exams include tests for visual acuity, lazy eye, 3D vision, eye tracking, color vision, convergence, and ocular health.


Scheduling Pediatric Eye Exams

Eye doctors recommend the first eye exam to be done at six months old. This is carried out to ensure that children’s eyes are developing as they should. The second exam should be scheduled when the child is three years old and the next before the child starts school. 

During the initial exam, the pediatric eye doctor will ask questions about the child’s birth history. The information sought will include details about any complications during pregnancy, the child’s birth weight, and any issues during delivery. 


What to Expect During Eye Exams

During the pediatric eye exam, information on any history of ocular disease in your family will be helpful. The doctor will also need to know the child’s medical history. This will include any previous eye issues, any surgeries or treatments, allergies, or current medications. 

Inform the eye doctor if you have noticed any delays in the child’s motor development. Tell the doctor about any signs like frequent blinking and eye rubbing. Other signs to look out for are difficulty making or maintaining eye contact and poor tracking.


Normal Eye Development

Pediatric eye exams are vital for determining whether a child’s eyes are developing in a normal way. Different tests are used to determine normal development. Babies are tested for color vision, focusing skills, and depth perception. The tests carried out include pupil responses, fixate and follow tests, and preferential looking tests. 

Many kids have difficulties at school due to undetected visual issues. It is important to ensure that your child gets regular eye exams. Talk to a pediatric eye doctor to schedule an appointment for your child.

For more on pediatric eye exams, visit Optique Vision at our office in Albany, New York. You can also call (518) 302-2106 to schedule an appointment.

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