EYE EXAMS FOR KIDS
Did you know that children do not need to know the alphabet to have their eyes examined? The optometrist has several child-friendly ways to measure and assess their vision!
How kids eye exams are different
Eye exams for kids may differ in technique, but essentially the Optometrist is testing for all the same things they do for adults. And since we want to make both you and your child comfortable, we put in every effort for their eye exam to be friendly and fun so that they are excited to come back for routine check-ups!
The Eye Doctor reviews any medical history/family medical history with you.
2. Eye health
This part of the eye exam doesn’t vary very much in terms of “how it’s done” except to know that the Optometrist is trained in keeping your child’s attention and focus while they examine the health of the inside of the eye. The same lights and instruments are used for children as they are for adults.
3. Visual Acuity
To evaluate the clarity/sharpness of vision of your child, the Doctor has a variety of ways to obtain the information. Where adults are asked to identify letters that get smaller and smaller, children are shown pictures of simple objects or shapes instead. This makes it much more interesting for children and easier for them to understand.
4. Refraction (prescription)
With babies and very young children (that aren’t able to speak yet), there are instruments available (such as a retinoscope or another named “Plusoptix”) that provides the Optometrist with a reliable baseline refraction; a general measurement indicating if there is a need to further evaluate for glasses. This amazing technology allows us to detect prescription needs for children as young as 6 months old.
5. Binocularity (how the eyes work together)
For this part of the eye exam, the doctors have a variety of methods available to best assess how your child’s eyes focus together and how the muscle balance is developing. From toys to lights and books with bright coloured pictures and shapes, we ensure that your child is comfortable telling the Doctor what they see and how they see it.
6. Depth perception
Depth perception is an interactive test where your child wears fun 3-D glasses! If your child’s eyes are working well as a team then they will be able to identify shapes that seem to pop out at them. This test will give the doctor insight if the eyes are working well together or if one eye is working harder than the other.
7. Colour testing
Testing for colour deficiency is easy and fun! Your child gets to look at images designed for the typical eye to easily depict a colourful design or number on the page. A child with colour deficiency won’t be able to distinguish what they should, if anything at all.
8. Eye care plan
At the end of the eye exam, the Optometrist will review any prescription needs or follow up appointments required with you and your child. For first-time visits, your child will receive an activity booklet and a report booklet with the results of the eye exam! This is a great way for kids to stay excited about their visit to the optometrist once a year, and it also keeps a good record for parents at home.