Regular eye exams aren’t only important for adults. As a responsible parent, you want to be certain that your child has healthy, functional eyes and can see as clearly as possible. However, dealing with young people can be very different to adults. Young children do not always understand how to communicate what they are feeling or seeing, and this can affect the information that is obtained during his or her eye exam. Our professional eye care team have extensive experience in performing pediatric eye exams and understand what is required to put your child at ease and to ensure that test results are as accurate as possible.
We offer pediatric eye exams to our young patients in Bartram Springs, North St. John’s County and the wider Jacksonville area.
As adults, most of us realize that we rely on our sight for more than virtually any other sense. It enables us to engage with the environment around us, helps to keep us safe and reaffirms what our other senses are telling us. Your child is no different. When our kids are small, they need to learn about the world and one of the easiest ways of doing this is through their eyesight. Shapes, colors, and faces are amongst the first thing an infant learns to recognize, and as he grows, his visual skills will continue to develop in order to support his learning. This is especially important once he reaches school age since as much as 80% of what your child learns will be presented to him in a visual format.
Visual skills that your child will develop during their infant, childhood and adolescent years include:
Eye movement skills
Eye teaming skills (where the eyes work together)
Studies have shown that children who are left with vision problems don’t do as well at school. They can struggle with concentration since what they see doesn’t engage them, as well as experience low self-esteem, particularly if they don’t realize that what they are seeing isn’t ‘the norm’. They may think that they aren’t clever or capable when this is far from the case and prescription lenses may be able to resolve his issue.
There are many types of eye problem that can affect children. These can typically be identified during pediatric eye exams, enabling prompt treatment that may help to reverse the problem, manage it or treat it so that your child can enjoy clearer vision and eyes that are healthy for as long as possible.
Amblyopia. Also known as lazy eye, this condition is characterized by the decreased vision in one or potentially both eyes, with no definitive cause.
Strabismus. Children who have strabismus may find that their eyes look as though they are pointing in different directions. Untreated, strabismus can result in a child developing amblyopia.
Focusing problems. This is where a child finds it difficult to change focus from something near to an object further away or vice versa. Maintaining focus for prolonged periods can also be difficult for the affected child.
Convergence insufficiency. Close-up work and reading can be tricky for children with convergence insufficiency since they struggle to keep their eyes properly aligned.
A pediatric eye exam usually comprises of a number of different elements that are not dissimilar to those in an adult eye exam. These include:
A discussion about the general health and wellbeing of your child.
A visual acuity test to see how well your child can see at different distances.
A pupil test, which is carried out to see how well your child’s eyes respond to light.
Eye movement test to see if your child’s eyes can follow movement properly.
We will need to look into your child’s eyes to check how healthy they are.
Your child will need eye drops for some of these tests. These won’t hurt, but they will cause his vision to become blurred, something which some kids may dislike.
At the end of your appointment, you will be given information about the health of your child’s eyes and told whether or not he would benefit from prescription lenses.