Most adults understand the importance of having their eyes checked once a year. This is especially crucial as they get older, considering that’s when they could develop an age-related problem like glaucoma and cataracts. However, pediatric eye exams are also essential.
In simple terms, this type of eye examination allows an expert to assess your child’s vision, as well as their overall eye health. Since this involves younger aged kids, even babies, you want to visit either an ophthalmologist or optometrist who specializes in pediatric eye care.
Similar to a regular exam, the vision expert conducts a comprehensive examination of your child’s eyes. In most cases, this entails them having their pupils dilated via eye drops. These cause a temporary weakness of the muscles in the eyes responsible for focusing.
With the pupils dilated, the ophthalmologist or optometrist can determine if your child has a problem focusing properly or if there’s refractive error. Based on the findings, you will learn if your child has nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Every pediatric eye exam is pretty much the same. Typically, the ophthalmologist or optometrist sees how well your child’s eyes track by pointing a light on various toys. That allows them to determine visual function. If your son or daughter is old enough to talk, the doctor might ask them to identify objects shown in pictures.
The ophthalmologist or optometrist will also look for any turning or crossing of the eyes. For this, they use what’s called an ophthalmoscope. This instrument shines a bright light into the eyes, making it possible for them to see the interior structures or any misalignment. Another way they can check for this problem is with a prism.
In all, it takes about two hours to complete a pediatric eye exam. While that might seem like a long time, it’s necessary.
Overall, a pediatric eye examination ensures your child has healthy eyes. At the same time, it helps determine if there are any problems with vision. If not corrected, by the time your son or daughter attends school, they would likely struggle to perform well. There are four goals that eye specialists work to achieve with an examination. Those include:
1. Excellent visual acuity regardless of the distance
2. Proper eye movement
3. Accurate and comfortable focusing ability
4. Appropriate eye learning skills
Timing for having your child’s eyes examined is important. Around the age of six months, you’ll want to schedule their first appointment. Then, they should have them reexamined at age three and again at age five or six just before starting school. Once they’re school-aged, you want their eyes checked every two years unless they need to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist for any concerns.
As a parent, you’re protective over your children. So, you want to have a pediatric eye examination performed by a skilled professional who specializes in pediatric eye care. At Urban Optics in College Station, Texas, we have an outstanding team that’s amazing with children. We invite you to schedule an appointment by calling us at 979-690-0888.