Eye Exams for Children
We cannot begin to express how important eye exams are for your child’s health and development. They are crucial because some childhood vision problems can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. Early identification and treatment of vision issues can stop or possibly reverse vision issues that could impair eyesight for a lifetime.
When Should Your Child Begin Routine Eye Exams
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have eye exams at 3 years of age, and at about age 5 to 6, or just before they enter kindergarten.
For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually.
Eye Tests for Your Child
We conduct the following eye tests used specifically for young children:
We measure visual acuity in young children using the LEA symbol eye chart, which is similar to regular eye tests using charts with letters, except that special symbols are used like an apple, house, square and circle.
The retinoscopy test helps us determine your child's eyeglass prescription. During the test we will shine a light into your child’s eye to observe the reflection from the back of their eye (retina).
Random Dot Stereopsis
This test uses special patterns of dots and 3-D glasses to measure how well your child's eyes work together.
Warning Signs for Childhood Vision Problems
It may be time to schedule an eye exam for your child if they display one of more of these signs:
- Loses place when reading
- Holds books, magazines, homework closer than normal
- Avoids close work like reading or writing
- Excessive blinking
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Failure to maintain eye contact
- Has headaches
- Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
- Uses finger to keep place when reading