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Why A Back-to-School Eye Exam Is Important for Your Child

When your child is due for their back-to-school annual eye exam, it’s important that you don’t postpone it. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and at Nevada Eye Physicians, we recommend that parents schedule their child’s eye exam soon. Poor eyesight and academic performance are directly related. Certain eye conditions or diseases can develop at any age and need to be detected early to stop them from progressing further.

Many parents wonder when a child should have their first eye exam. Our vision specialists recommend that all kids have their vision checked before their fourth birthday. Because many of our children are learning on digital devices that are known to cause digital eye strain, this checkup is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. All of our seven locations in Nevada, including Henderson, Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, and Pahrump, offer comprehensive back-to-school eye exams.

What happens during a pediatric eye exam?

At Nevada Eye Physicians, we offer pediatric eye care for young patients that include eye exams with diagnostic tests. During this exam, we first look at the front of the eyes, including the cornea, eyelids, and lens. Next, your child’s eyes are dilated with drops so we can closely see the retina and optic nerve. It will take about a half-hour for the pupils to open after drops are administered, so your child will be able to play during that time. Once the pupils are ready, light and lenses are used to look at the back of the eye. Please note that your child’s vision will be blurry from this dilation, but it should go away after 12 – 24 hours.

During this pediatric eye care exam, these tests may be performed:

  1. Eye inspection: We will inspect your child’s eyes and eyelids, and test muscle movement. We also will reflect light on the pupils to look at them closely.

  2. Cover test: This test helps us see if the eyes are properly aligned. Each eye will be covered, one at a time, and we look for a shift in the eyes.

  3. Corneal Light Reflex test: A flashlight will reflect light on the cornea. We will look for reflexes. If these reflexes aren’t sufficient, this will be an abnormal test result.

  4. Acuity test: We will use an age-appropriate eye chart for your child to read, using one eye at a time.

During this pediatric eye exam, we look for abnormal symptoms that may lead to vision loss. Refraction is a portion of this eye exam that determines how your child sees at different distances. Based on these results, we will calculate their prescription if we think they need glasses.

About pediatric eye conditions

There are different eye conditions that can develop in young children. At Nevada Eye Physicians, we specialize in diagnosing and treating:

  • Lazy or wandering eyes

  • Ptosis (drooping of eyelids)

  • Congenital glaucoma or cataracts

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Eye infection

At your child’s eye exam, we can detect eye problems that may impair their daily life.

Are school vision screenings enough for my child’s eye health?

While these vision screenings can be useful in understanding if your child has a problem with their vision, it’s important to schedule a back-to-school eye exam too. A vision screening cannot diagnose conditions since it only detects signs or symptoms that your child may have vision trouble. At Nevada Eye Physicians, we believe that eye exams are a vital part of your child’s health.

Schedule a back-to-school eye exam today

At Nevada Eye Physicians, we provide back-to-school eye exams at all seven of our Nevada locations, including Henderson, Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, and Pahrump. We understand how important these eye exams are, and can explain every step of the exam during your child’s appointment. We encourage all parents to ask questions during the exam, so you feel comfortable visiting our eye center each year. To schedule an appointment for a pediatric eye exam, call one of our locations.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.