Pediatricians often conduct vision screening during children’s annual physicals. However, the screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Regular eye exams are essential to protect the child’s eye health.
Eye doctors conduct pediatric eye exams using specific diagnostic assessments and clinical tools. The tests help determine the child’s visual abilities and ocular health. Find out what to expect during a pediatric eye exam.
Comprehensive eye exams check the patient’s visual and ocular condition. Eye specialists recommend children have a comprehensive eye exam before they reach school age. Many learning skills depend on strong visual skills, such as clear distant vision, accurate eye movements, and binocular vision.
Regular eye exams help monitor the child’s eye development. Doctors can check for conditions that can cause vision and eye health problems.
Eye doctors recommend children have their first pediatric eye exam when they are six months old. During the exam, the doctor will check to ensure normal eye development. The next visit should be when the child is two or three, and the next before they begin school.
The exams will reveal early signs of vision problems. Doctors recommend annual eye exams for school-going children. They may recommend more frequent visits for those who require vision correction.
During the initial eye exam, the pediatric eye doctor will ask about the child’s birth history. It includes details such as birth weight, pregnancy, birth complications, and whether the child was born full-term.
The doctor will also enquire about any family history of eye disease, previous eye problems, allergies, and health conditions. The doctor will need to know if your child is on any medication or has delays in motor development.
Doctors will conduct the first pediatric eye exam before the child is old enough to communicate. The exam involves tests that check normal eye development. The tests include:
Measuring pupil responses
Tests to measure preferential looking
During the second pediatric eye exam, the child can communicate, play, and use various objects. A comprehensive exam for two- to five-year-olds will include tests to check:
Amblyopia (lazy eye)
3-D vision (Stereopsis)
Visual skills are essential for healthy child development. They help prepare the child for school. They prepare the child to learn new skills such as eye-hand coordination, visual perceptual skills, and fine motor skills.
If your child has difficulty recognizing colors, shapes, letters, or numbers, it may indicate a vision problem. Eye doctors use retinoscopy to determine if the child has a refractive error that can affect vision. An ocular eye exam checks the child’s eyes to rule out ocular issues such as glaucoma, infantile cataracts, and tumors. It involves checking the eyelids, iris, cornea, lens, and retina.
For more on what to expect during a pediatric eye exam, visit Eye Vantage at our Katy, Texas, office. Call (281) 771-1323 to schedule an appointment today.