Taking your child for an eye exam, especially if it’s their first time, can be a little stressful. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prepare your child and ease the anxiety that they might be feeling. As for the process of kids’ eye exams, it will vary depending on the age of your child.
Here’s what you can expect and what you can do to prepare your child for their eye exam.
Why Regular Eye Exams for Kids are Important
Your kid’s eye exams are an important part of their general health checkups. Regardless of their age, eye examinations can reveal critical aspects of their visual health and how well they’re able to see what’s around them.
Clear vision is also crucial for learning. In fact, vision deficiencies can affect their learning and development. It’s possible that some undiagnosed learning disabilities could be the result of a vision deficiency. Therefore, getting your child’s eyes examined regularly allows them to learn, progress, and develop appropriately.
Moreover, kids’ eye exams are essential to ensuring good health and development. Eye exams are used to determine if there are any eye health or vision issues. Being able to diagnose them in a timely manner is important for prompt correction and treatment.
What to Expect During Your Child’s Eye Exam
The eye exam process for your child will depend on their age. As well, your eye doctor will use a different process based on your child’s needs and ability to express themselves. For example, infant and toddler eye exams rely more on objective tests, while eye exams for teens will gather subjective information as well.
Generally, the eye doctor will evaluate three different things during a kid’s eye exam:
- Their vision development. For infants and toddlers, the optometrist will check that their vision is developing properly and look for any sign of vision loss like lazy eye.
- The health of their eyes. Eye doctors check that their eyes are healthy and that there’s no sign of eye disease or conditions.
- Confirm child’s vision is functional. Optometrists will make sure that the child’s vision is functional according to their individual needs.
For infants, an eye exam will be more objective as they cannot communicate. The optometrist will gather information from objective tests. They will evaluate the three elements above, as well as examine:
- Acuity and fixation
- The optometrist will use a target to follow to see if they maintain their vision.
- Eye coordination
- Eyes are properly aligned
- Signs of disease
- Signs of refractive error
- Eye pressure
- Front and back tissue of the eyes
For older toddlers up to teenagers, the eye doctor will also test subjective measurements, along with the tests used for infants.
Some of the other tests they’ll perform on older children include:
- Subjective refraction test
- Colour vision test
- Eye alignment test
- Depth perception test
- General eye health exam
How to Prepare Your Child for an Eye Exam
The best thing to do before going to your kid’s eye exam is to prepare them for it! You can do this by explaining to him or her what it’s going to involve and that it can be a fun experience. Optometrists are accustomed to working with children and will do their best to make the eye exam as fun and game-like as they can. They’ll try to make your child relaxed and comfortable.
As for infants and early toddlers, book eye exams before or after nap time. Make sure they’re well-rested and fed. This will help them remain content and more engaged during the exam. It’ll make it easier for you and the optometrist, too!
Book Your Child’s Eye Exam at Hakim Optical
Hakim Optical has a lot of experience performing eye exams on children of all ages. Our optometrists are family-oriented and enjoy working with kids. Plus, we have exam centres across Canada in almost every major city.
Don’t delay, book your kid’s eye exam now and keep them healthy!
Hakim Optical has provided Canadians with quality corrective lenses at a value that can’t be beat for over 55 years. Our knowledgeable staff and optometrists are here to help you find an eyewear solution tailored specifically to you.