Pediatric Eye Exam: What to Expect During Your Child’s Appointment with our King George & Culpeper Optometrist
Our Culpeper & King George optometrist Dr. Miles Press is committed to providing our pediatric patients with the highest quality of eye care. Regular pediatric eye exams are essential to your child’s healthy development. An estimated 25 percent of school age children have vision problems. Children with undiagnosed eye problems can face a host of difficulties in the classroom, including delayed language acquisition, challenges communicating with peers, and poor hand-eye coordination. Early identification of vision problems is important for preventing learning complications. From routine pediatric eye exams to fitting glasses for our children, we offer comprehensive vision care for children. Dr. Press and our eye care team look forward to welcoming you and your family to our practice.
Pediatric Eye Exam Frequency: How Often Should My Child Be Tested?
Children are considered to be at-risk for the development of eye and vision problems when they have a low birth rate or are born prematurely. A family history of congenital cataracts or certain metabolic and genetic diseases also increases the risk for vision problems. Our King George & Culpeper optometrist follows the vision testing guidelines set forth by the American Optometric Association (AOA) for pediatric vision testing. All children should tested by six months of age and again at three years of age. If your child at-risk, you child should be tested annually starting at age six; other school-age children will benefit from test before first grade and again every two years thereafter.
What Happens During an Eye Exam for Children?
During a pediatric eye exam, our King George & Culpeper eye doctor will test the following: near vision, distance vision, binocular vision (eye pairing), eye movement skills, focusing skills, peripheral awareness, and hand-eye coordination. Dr. Press believes in making every child and parent as comfortable as possible. He offers a variety of testing options to best suit your child’s needs. Every child is different and providing the proper diagnosis is extremely important. At Eye Care of Virginia, our optometrist offers alternative methods to traditional charts such as:
- Picture Charts
- An automated system that provides an objective diagnosis versus subjective
Be sure to tell our eye doctor if you have noticed any symptoms of a vision problem in your child. These symptoms include delayed motor development, excessive blinking, inability to maintain a fixed gaze when looking at objects, poor eye tracking skills, and frequent eye rubbing.
Common tests for preschool children include LEA symbols (e.g., apple, house, square and circle) for children who are not familiar with letters. We may conduct a retinoscopy test which involves shining a light into the eye to observe the reflection back on the eye. This eye test helps our doctor determine your child’s eyeglass prescription. An additional common test is random dot stereopsis, which uses patterns of dots and 3-D glasses to determine how well your child’s eyes work together as a team. Dr. Press will also test for lazy eye (amblyopia), misalignment of the eyes (strabismus), focusing ability, depth perception, and color vision.
Appropriate vision testing at an early age is crucial to your child’s successful performance in school. Children who cannot easily view a blackboard can become frustrated and disengage from the learning experience. Additionally, some vision problems, like lazy eye, are easiest to correct when diagnosed early.