Pediatric Eye Care: Children’s Eye Exams

DSC_0297We are here to bring your child’s vision into sharper focus, and we’re going to have a good time doing it! Any medical visit has the potential to be intimidating to a child, so we go out of our way to make pediatric eye care an easy, approachable experience for them.

Please be prepared for your child’s eye exam and allow 90 minutes for this exam. Here are some tips and what to expect during the appointment.

Please bring your child’s current eye glasses, list of medications, toys, books, snacks and any other items you may need.

We can evaluate the vision of a pre-verbal child or a child that cannot read. Many parents are surprised that a comprehensive eye exam can be performed on a child of any age. A skilled ophthalmologist can determine how well a child sees by how the child uses his or her eyes to follow attractive toys and lights.

For young children who do not know their letters we can use pictures or numbers. You can review these pictures with your child.

DSC_0313We will check color vision with a special book and depth perception with special 3D glasses. Lights and toys are used to see if your child’s eyes are straight and work together. Sometimes the doctor covers your child’s eye to check for misalignment. The doctor measures the misalignment with prisms, a wedge shaped piece of glass or plastic.

“The drops” are the most important part of the exam. The dilation allows the doctor to see inside the eyes and determine if any glasses are need. Even if a child is very young and has no external signs of vision problems the dilated exam may show amblyopia or a need for glasses. The drops may sting for 30 seconds. The feeling is similar to getting swimming pool water in your eyes. You will wait for approximately 40 minutes while the drops take effect.

Once you child’s eyes are dilated special lights are used to examine the retina- the camera film of the eye and the optic nerve the cord from the brain which send visual signals to the brain. A special computer or light is used to refract or check for a need for glasses.

After the exam, Dr. Akor will discuss your child’s eye findings and make arrangements for any additional testing or follow-up that is needed. Together you will discuss a treatment plan to address you child’s eye health.

Your child’s eyes will remain blurry from the eye drops anywhere from 6. – 24 hours, or rarely 48 hours if your child has blue eyes. This is normal and it is not something to worry about. Sunglasses are recommended to make your child’s eye comfortable until they return to their normal size.