Children's Eye Exam Information

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A Comprehensive Vision Examination is a process conducted by an eye doctor.  A child should have a thorough eye exam at 6 months and then at age 3,5, and every 2 years after that to make sure his or her vision is developing properly and there is no evidence of eye disease. An eye doctor can prescribe treatment if necessary to correct a vision development problem.  With today's diagnostic equipment and tests, a child does not have to know the alphabet or how to read to have his or her eyes examined.

Here are several tips, suggested by the American Optometric Association to make your child's eye exam a positive experience:

1. Make an appointment early in the day. Allow about one hour.
2. Talk about the examination in advance and encourage your child's questions.
3. Explain the examination in terms your child can understand, comparing the E chart to a puzzle and the instruments to tiny flashlights and a kaleidoscope.

Unless the eye doctor advises otherwise, the next eye exam should be at age 5. By comparing test results of the two examinations, an eye doctor can tell how well a child's vision is developing for the next major step into school.

Vision Screenings are a precursory process usually conducted in schools or by a pediatrician. While unable to diagnose an eye or vision problem, a screening may indicate the potential need for further evaluation.  It is possible for a child to have an eye problem that remains undetected by vision screening; the process does not account for visual acuity, color vision or eye teaming difficulties.  Vision screenings may not recognize as many as 60% of children with vision problems, further emphasizing that by the age of 3, every child should have a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor.