Childrens Eye Exam: What to Expect
Vision exams can vary depending on the age of the child. For instance a practitioner might ask an older child to identify letters whereas a younger child may be shown pictures of animals and toys. The key points of most vision exams are similar. The eyecare provider will first review your child s personal health and family health history and then conduct tests to check for the following: Vision: By using an instrument called a retinoscope your eyecare practitioner can check for nearsightedness farsightedness and astigmatism A child may then be shown pictures or an eye chart to measure his/her vision precisely and if necessary to determine a prescription for corrective eyewear.
Alignment: Your eyecare provider will give your child three-dimensional glasses and will ask the child to choose the three-dimensional images among a series of pictures. This fun exercise tests whether your child s eyes are working in synch or not. If they are not there may be a problem with alignment.
Co-ordination of eye muscles: The practitioner will move a light in a set pattern to test your child s ability to see sharply and clearly at near and far distances.
Peripheral (side) vision: Your eyecare provider will move an object at the edge of a child s field of vision. This is done to detect such conditions as glaucoma and tumours.
Pupil response to light: Your eyecare practitioner will shine a light in a child s eye and watch the pupil s reaction. This can detect possible neurological problems.
Colour testing: Your practitioner will ask a child to describe figures in a series of illustrations made up of numerous coloured dots or circles. This tests the child’s ability to differentiate colours.
The external eye: Your eyecare provider will examine the health of the child s eyelids and eyelashes as well as the other structures at the front of the eye such as the cornea iris and lens.
The interior and back of the eye: The doctor will use an instrument called an ophthalmoscope to see the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye. This is where clues to many eye diseases first appear. Occasionally your eyecare practitioner will use special drops to have a better view of the back of the eye.