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What to Expect at Your Child’s First Eye Exam

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Eye Exam

Taking your child for an eye exam is important to help spot common eye problems and promote your child’s development. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, even if your child is not showing signs of vision problems, they still need their eyes checked at least once between the ages of three and five, although many have their first exam around age two. 

Children can experience the same eye issues as adults, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, crossed eyes, and lazy eyes, and those with a family history of vision problems are at a higher risk. Taking your child to an eye appointment with a specialist at Florida Eye Center can help your child get corrective lenses they need to continue with positive and healthy development. Before you go, you can prepare your child by discussing what to expect during their first eye exam. 

Related: Why It’s Important to Get Your Child’s Vision Checked

What Eye Tests Will Be Performed?

To begin the eye exam, the optometrist will talk to you about your child’s health and activities. If your child is old enough, the optometrist may speak to them directly to gauge potential issues. The optometrist will explain which procedure will come next, but typically you can expect:

  • Pupil Test: This is when the doctor shines a light into the child’s eyes to check how their pupils respond to light. 
  • Visual Acuity Test: This test will gauge depth perception. If the child is old enough, they will attempt to read letters from the standard eye chart. If they are unable to read, the doctor will use shapes or a letter in different positions. 
  • Eye Movement Test: For this test, the doctor will simply move an object back and forth in front of the child’s eyes to see if their eyes can follow the object. 
  • Pupil Dilation: The optometrist may administer eye drops that slightly sting. About 30 minutes after the drops are administered, the doctor will use a light to observe the back of the eye through the pupil. The child will be sensitive to light after this procedure and he or she may need sunglasses before leaving. You should bring a toy or game to keep your child occupied while waiting for the drops to take effect. 

Your optical specialist will discuss any potential concerns during these tests, and you and your child will both have the opportunity to ask questions during this time. 

Related: How Often Should I Get an Eye Exam? 

What If My Child Needs Corrective Lenses?

If your child is squinting or moving a little too close to see something, he or she likely has trouble seeing. During the eye exam, the optometrist will let you know if your child has nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. These are common refractive errors that can be easily treated with eyeglasses. 

If your child needs corrective lenses, the optometrist will create a prescription and an optical specialist will discuss all of your lens options, including transition lenses, blue-light reducing lenses, and tinted lenses. A specialist will also help you find frames to highlight your child’s personality and measure your child before ordering the frames to ensure the perfect fit. For older children or teens, the optometrist will discuss contact lens options and will help your child learn how to put them in and remove them safely. 

How Can I Ease My Child’s Anxiety Before the Appointment?

Any time your child has an appointment with a new doctor, it can create anxiety. Talking your child through the appointment can help. Additionally, remind your child that you will be with them every step of the way, and encourage them to ask questions if they want to understand more during the appointment. 

The optometrists will work hard to make your child more comfortable throughout the whole process. If your child is experiencing blurry vision or is over the age of two, contact the specialists at the Florida Eye Center and schedule an appointment today.

To schedule a consultation for optical care in Tampa, please request an appointment today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Florida Eye Center website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by the medical professionals at Florida Eye Center or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Florida Eye Center. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Florida Eye Center is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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