Clear vision and healthy eyes are important not only to a child's overall health and well-being, but are also directly related to their academic performance in school. While vision screenings given at a child's school each year may identify children who are at risk for problems with their vision, vision screenings do not test the overall health of the child's eyes.
A professional eye examination performed by a certified eye doctor tests vision, while also evaluating the child's eyes for more serious conditions and diseases. Our practice performs eye examinations and vision screenings for children of all ages, including school-age children whose performance is dependent on strong, healthy eyes.
The Pediatric Eye Examination
A comprehensive eye examination is essential in the diagnosis and treatment of vision problems, injury and disease. Early detection allows treatment to begin before the child experiences difficulties in school due to poor vision, or before any permanent damage occurs.
Children's eye examinations usually include testing for the following:
- Visual acuity
- Eye tracking
- Focusing skills
- Near vision
- Distance vision
- Color blindness
- Slit-lamp examination
- Peripheral awareness
These vision aspects are assessed through traditional eye charts, including charts that use special symbols instead of letters for young children; retinoscopy, which shines a light into the eye to examine the retina; and random dot stereopsis, which uses dot patterns to detect any differences between the two eyes.
Older children may undergo testing similar to those tests used for adults, including:
- A visual field test
- Slit-lamp examination
- Cover test
Treatment After a Pediatric Eye Examination
After the exam and an accurate diagnosis a treatment plan will be developed that may include:
- A prescription for eyeglasses
- Vision therapy
Common Pediatric Eye Conditions
In addition to detecting vision problems, our eye examinations check for common childhood conditions such as:
- Amblyopia, or lazy eye
- Strabismus, or crossed eyes
- Nearsightedness, or myopia
- Farsightedness, or hyperopia
These conditions are often present at birth as a result of genetic factors, and should be treated early to reduce the risk of complications. Treatment may include glasses to improve focus or eye exercises to correct improper vision habits.
It is important for parents to explain the importance of professional eye care and treatment to their children in order to promote proper eye health and a lifetime of strong, healthy eyes.