Why Pediatric Eye Exams are Important and What to Expect

Published on June 22, 2022 ​​​​​​​

Your children’s eyes and eye health are just as essential as your own and all young people are recommended to attend regular pediatric eye exams so that the condition of their eyes and the clarity of their vision can be assessed on a regular basis. But why are these exams necessary and do you really need to attend if your child isn’t complaining about problems with their vision. The answer is yes, and here are some key reasons why attending pediatric eye exams is so important for your child.



Your Child Might Not Realize That Their Vision Could Be Improved


Depending on the age of your child, there is a good chance that they may not actually realize that their vision isn’t perfect. If they have always had blurred vision, or the blurriness is developing very slowly, they may not understand that their sight is impaired and that there are things that can be done to help them see more clearly. In fact, many children are mistakenly diagnosed with behavioral or learning disorders when they actually can’t concentrate or achieve as well because their vision is impaired in some way.



For other children, communication is the problem that prevents them from letting their parents know that there is something not right with their vision. They may not be old enough to be able to explain what they are experiencing. However, eye exams can pick up many of the problems that your child might not be able to tell you about.



Poor Vision Could Cause Your Child Problems at School 


Your child’s education is extremely important, but for them to access their learning and reach their potential, they need to be able to see clearly at all distances. Unfortunately, children who do not have optimal vision may experience a range of difficulties including:



  • Poor handwriting

  • Lower than expected reading comprehension

  • Other reading problems such as losing their place and avoidance

  • Avoidance in class discussions because they haven’t been able to access their learning fully

  • Headaches

  • Eye strain

  • Short attention span




In order to make sure that your child can get the most out of their education and thrive in their learning environment, you should schedule them a pediatric eye exam at least once every 12 months.



Clear Vision Will Help Keep Your Child Safe


Your child’s vision is also a vitally important tool for keeping them safe.



  • Your child’s clear vision will enable them to read signs and labels, for example, ensuring that they don’t enter potentially dangerous areas or take the wrong medication.

  • If they can see clearly, your child can better follow instructions, such as those that are included with bottles of medication or when they are putting together a piece of equipment.

  • Your child will also rely on their vision to backup what their other senses tell them. For example, they shouldn’t just listen before they cross a road, they should also confirm that it is safe by looking. 



Catching Eye Diseases Early Can Protect Your Child's Long-Term Vision and Eye Health 


Eye diseases don’t only affect adults. There are many different conditions that can affect our eyes, and studies have shown that people who develop high levels of myopia are more likely to experience eye diseases in the future. Since myopia is being increasingly diagnosed among children, this means that if your child wears glasses now, they could be at greater risk of developing issues like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration in the future. Regular appointments with an eye doctor will enable your child’s eyes to be consistently monitored, so that any eye diseases can be detected and treated early.



What To Expect at a Pediatric Eye Exam

A pediatric eye exam is virtually identical to most adult comprehensive eye exams and will involve a number of different tests to assess the health of your child’s eyes and their vision. This will include:



  • Visual acuity testing, which is where your child will look at a chart of different sized letters and will be asked to read them. This will tell your eye doctor whether they would benefit from prescription lenses.

  • Eye movement test. This is where your eye doctor will ask your child to follow an object with their eyes, ensuring that they have important tracking and following skills.

  • Eye teaming. This assesses how well the eyes work together.

  • A visual examination, which enables your eye doctor to check for any visible abnormalities. It may also involve looking at the back of their eye using a special camera.



For more information about pediatric eye exams call Dau Family Eye Care at (904) 713-2020 to reach our office in St. John’s, Florida. 

132 Everest Ln, Ste 5
St. John's, FL 32259