Child Eye Exam – Why Should I Get My Child’s Vision Checked?

Child Eye Exam

child eye examUnless a child is showing obvious signs of vision impairment or poor eye health, many parents and guardians assume they don’t need to schedule an eye exam. Some even think their children’s eyes will be examined in school as a part of regular health screenings. Both of these are mistaken assumptions. At Metroicare, we agree with the the Canadian Association of Optometrists’ recommendations that children have at least one comprehensive eye exam before they start school and once a year thereafter.

Children often don’t complain about vision impairments because they don’t know whether their vision is abnormal. To them, blurry vision, not being able to follow words on a page, or straining to see a blackboard (or whiteboard) may seem perfectly normal. As they say, a fish doesn’t question how it swims, it just swims! Many vision impairments are only discovered once a child begins school or starts playing organized sports. Both situations require clear sight. But a comprehensive vision examination isn’t just a test of sight. It’s an examination of eye health. And for children, it can be one of the first steps in diagnosing an eye disorder.

Why Should I Get My Child's Vision Checked

At Metroicare, our pediatric eye exam includes a full review of a child’s health and vision history as well as tests for farsightedness, nearsightedness, color perception, astigmatism, and other common vision conditions. Identifying an eye impairment or disorder early greatly aids a child’s ability to learn and feel comfortable in a classroom, or on a playing field.

Metroicare’s comprehensive eye exams also look at eye function such as how well the eyes focus and work together, as well as overall health screenings. Did you know that in children, some binocular vision disorders are mistaken for behavioural disorders such as ADHD? Many family doctors treating children for ADHD often don’t detect or even consider that an ocular disorder, or malfunction, is the cause. Disorders such as convergence insufficiency, where the eye do not work in unison, may not be apparent in simple vision checks. Only optometrists with expertise in eye-teaming abnormalities, would be able to diagnose—and properly treat—these issues in children.

In today’s fast-paced digital world, it is also important for children to learn early about eye care and protection. Who better to impart this knowledge than the trained professionals at Metroicare? We know that too much screen time, or time spend in front of Ipads, tablets, computers, smartphones, and TVs can harm a child’s eyesight. Since the eyes of children and teens continue developing until they are about 20, many eye care professionals believe long hours spend in front of electronic devices can cause myopia, or near-sightedness. Both the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Canadian Association of Optometrists agree that the strain of “near work”— or looking at things close up—effects vision and can lead to conditions such as dry eye. Many experts are now recommending that children spend more time outdoors looking at things far away and absorbing beneficial sunlight and vitamin D.

Vision can be so important to learning and behaviour. A comprehensive eye exam will start your child’s school years off right. Call Metroicare today to book an appointment today.

Children’s Eye Exam – Wearing glasses

Glasses can help correct many types of vision problems.

  • If a child is very farsighted, nearsighted, or has astigmatism, the brain only receives blurry images. Glasses help the child see clearly, which helps vision develop normally.
  • If a child has crossed eyes, glasses can correct the problem and help vision develop normally. Glasses may be used to correct crossed eyes, even when vision is clear.
  • If a child has good vision in just one eye, glasses will protect the eye from injury. These glasses must be made of shatterproof material such as polycarbonate or trivex.

The doctor will:

  • Discuss your child’s vision and how glasses will help.
  • Give you a prescription for your child’s glasses

The optometrist’s prescription is used to make the lenses for your child’s glasses. The choice of frames is up to you. Here are some suggestions for choosing frames:

  • Let your child pick out the frames. If your child likes them, he or she will be more interested in wearing them.
  • Choose frames that are not too small or your child will look over them.
  • Make sure the glasses fit well, don’t slip or feel too tight or heavy.
  • Regular glasses won’t protect your child’s eyes from injury. Your child may also need safety glasses for sports.

For any tips on eye care for your children, selecting the right frames and ways of encouragement, give us a call today. Metro Eye Care is an optometrist office located in downtown Toronto and accepting new patients!