Good vision is very important for proper physical development and educational progress in growing kids. While most children have normal, healthy eyes, a few are born with or develop vision problems. Our professional optometrists, with specialized training and necessary equipment, strive to provide comprehensive eye care that can help improve your child’s health and vision. Get in touch with us to book an appointment.
Importance of Children’s Eye Exams
It is always better to have children’s eyes examined by our optometrists regularly to make sure that their eyes are healthy. As vision problems can impact their academic performance and safety, they require the following visual abilities:
Accurate eye movement
Comfortable and precise focusing skills
Eye teaming skills without strain
Visual acuity at all distances
Eye Exam Timing
The generally accepted breakdown of timing for eye checkups to provide proper eye care for your family is as follows:
First eye exam at 6 months old
Second eye test at 3 years old
Prior to entering Grade 1, at 5 or 6 years old
Every year once the child is school aged
Children aged 0 -18 are covered by Alberta Health Care
For kids who require eyeglasses or contacts, exams will be required on an annual basis.
What to Expect at the Appointment
Depending on the child’s age, the approach to eye examinations differs. Generally, the exam includes a case history, vision testing, eye alignment testing, eye health evaluation and more. Once you have scheduled the visit, you will have to fill out a case history form to help us gain a full picture of the child’s health. Be sure to mention any issues such as:
Delays in motor development
Rubbing eyes frequently
Blinking in excess
Inability to maintain eye contact
Poor eye tracking abilities
You need to inform us if your child has failed a vision screening with a pediatrician or at school, any pre-existing ocular problems, family history of eye diseases or undergone treatments such as glasses, contacts or surgeries.
Infant Eye Testing
We can assess the development of your baby’s eyes by testing if their pupils respond to light correctly, they can focus and track an object before their eyes, and they can distinguish what is visually interesting from what isn’t.
Preschool Eye Testing
The preschool age is a period when your children experience drastic growth in their motor and intellectual skills. During this time, you should look out for any delays in eyesight development. If you notice your child is rubbing their eyes frequently, sitting very close to the TV or avoiding activities such as colouring or puzzles, take them to an eye doctor.
Eye and Vision Issues That Might Affect Your Child
Uncorrected vision problems can cause your kids to suffer academically, socially and personally. There are many common vision problems amongst schoolchildren, including some well-known challenges such as:
Astigmatism (misshapen lens, cornea, or both)
Lazy eye (amblyopia)
Misalignment of eyes (strabismus)
Poor depth perception
During school-aged eye assessments, our eye doctor will conduct a thorough examination of your child’s cornea, iris, lens and eyelids in order to identify any potential troubles. Some of these issues include:
Infected eyelash follicles
Bumps on the eyelid
Vision screening is essential to enabling success in school since most of the information absorbed by a child during their younger years is through visual uptake. Issues such as amblyopia (lazy eye) can be treated more effectively when detected early.