The Importance of Eye Exams for Children
You know how critical regular visits to your pediatrician and dentist are to maintain your children’s health. But did you know you should also take them to get pediatric eye exams regularly?
Starting at six months, children should see an eye doctor, who can diagnose vision problems or monitor conditions that could grow into something more serious. Children who need eyeglasses should visit the eye doctor every year for a checkup. Contrary to common perception, kids should still visit the eye doctor even if they don’t have glasses. Children who don’t require vision correction should make appointments every two years.
You can help your child feel more at ease during their eye doctor appointments by discussing what will happen there ahead of time. Talk about any questions they may have about the visit, too.
What to Expect at a Child’s Eye Exam
The visit often begins with several eye tests that help the eye doctor determine their vision level:
- Vision test: This measures how well kids see from a distance, using the chart with letters your child has to read off. A toddler vision test will use shapes instead of numbers.
- Eye movement: The doctor tells the patient to keep their eye on the doctor’s finger, which they move around to test the child’s peripheral and other types of vision.
- Pupil test: The doctor directs a bright light in the child’s eye to see if their pupil responds correctly.
The next step is to conduct a pediatric eye exam. The doctor will look at the lens, cornea and eyelid to make sure they are healthy. Next, the doctor may perform a pupil dilation test to look at the back of their eye to see that it’s developing properly.
After all this, the doctor will consult with you about their findings. It may be that they found nothing to worry about in their exams. If your child requires glasses, the eye doctor will give you a prescription you can get filled either at the office, online or at a retail shop that sells glasses.
A trip to the eye doctor could reveal an issue with your child’s vision that requires treatment other than glasses. Lazy eye, also called amblyopia, can result from misalignment of the eyes as well as pediatric cataract. If your child has this common disorder, therapy may include glasses, eye drops or surgery.
Get Your Children Pediatric Eye Exams
An eye doctor for kids can help your child address problems that may bother them at school, such as not being able to see the whiteboard or having difficulty focusing when they read. Schedule your visit today to ensure your child receives the vision care they need.
You can also schedule an appointment with Hamilton Healthcare to address your own health concerns. We have staff who speak many different languages. We can help enroll you in health insurance, and we specialize in treating ESL and low-income women. Call us today to schedule an appointment.