Many parents are surprised to learn that the eye screenings children receive at school are not nearly as effective as a full exam from a pediatric eye doctor. It is highly recommended that your child receives their first pediatric exam from the family eye doctor at the age of 6 months, again at age 3 and once right before they start school. Here is what to expect when you bring your child to an optometrist in Georgetown, TX for a pediatric eye exam.
Baby's First Eye Exam
Infants can focus and have established the ability to distinguish depth perception by the age of 6 months. Your pediatric eye doctor will do a simple test of three things during an infant exam:
- Pupil Response Test: This is a simple light test to determine whether the pupils open and close properly.
- Fixate and Follow Test: This is a check to make sure your baby can focus on an object and follow it with their eyes. (This ability is present in babies as early as 3 months.)
- Preferential Looking Test: A series of cards that are blank on one side and have stripes on the other side are used attract the baby to view the stripes. Babies can't use an eye chart yet, so this test is the next best thing for testing vision while they're still so young.
These combined tests are used to make sure your baby's eyesight is developing normally for their age.
Preschool Exams with the Family Eye Doctor
A pediatric eye exam is much more comprehensive once your child comes in for their exams at age 3 and just before they start school. Even if your child does not know their alphabet yet, their vision can still be tested. In fact, some of the tests we administer are specifically designed for kids this young!
We use LEA symbols instead of a traditional eye chart for young children, for example. These symbols are easy-to-identify shapes that young children will be able to recognize, to test their visual acuity. A retinoscopy test will check whether your child's eyes are refracting light correctly (or if they have an undiagnosed vision problem). A random dot stereopsis test determines whether your children's eyes are working properly as a "team."
Comprehensive Eye Exams in Georgetown
Your family eye doctor at San Gabriel Eye Center will screen for all the potential vision problems that can require corrective eye care. When your child's vision is accurately assessed, steps can be taken to ensure that a vision problem does not negatively impact their school performance and normal childhood development. The free eye exam your children receive at school is extremely basic and the National Eye Institute estimates that school screenings only properly identify one-third of kids with a vision problem. Our tests are comprehensive and designed to fully assess your child's vision for the best possible outcome.
Contact San Gabriel Eye Center for Pediatric Eye Care
If you need a family eye doctor for pediatric exams, call our office at (512) 863-2078 to schedule an appointment.