What to Look for in an Eye Doctor for Children
When it comes to your children’s eyesight, it is crucial just like with any other healthcare provider, that you find an eye doctor that is suitable for all their needs. Good vision is important for overall well-being and success and is important to track frequently as vision and eye health change rapidly when a child is growing. As early detection is critical to determine visual health, it is recommended that children have yearly eye exams and see an eye care professional for a comprehensive look at their eye health.
Many studies have shown that vision issues or poor eye health have a direct correlation to poor grades and performance in school. As over 80% of learning during childhood (first 12 years) is visual, it’s important to take note of your child’s eye health just as much as any other aspect of health.
At what age should I take my child to an eye doctor?
Although some schools or general practitioners offer vision screenings, they do not replace a full eye exam. Pediatric eye exams can start at birth, and are especially important if you have a family history of eye problems. Early detection can help prevent any potential eye health issues from worsening or diagnose them at their inception. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that infants and toddlers undergo their first eye exam between 6 - 9 months, preschool children getting at least one exam between the ages of 2 and 5, and school-age children 6 - 19 years to undergo an annual eye examination.
Components of eye care you’ll want to know about
When taking your child to an optometrist for a general assessment, they will check things like:
● Visual acuity or clarity (how well can your child see?)
● Eye alignment and movement
● Color blindness
● Depth perception
● Peripheral vision
● Eye pressure
The exam will likely include a refraction test, visual function test, and ocular health assessment which includes dilating. Your ideal optometrist should be precise, certified, have experience working with children, and are able to provide all the tests needed to ensure your child has healthy vision.
Prairie Eye Care has trained doctors that are able to perform comprehensive examinations for children of all ages and development stages. You can expect an in-depth look at your child’s ocular health that is accurate and will uncover any eye health issues related to movement, tracking, reading, and their overall ability to see clearly.