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What Can You Expect At Your Child's First Eye Exam?

If your child is due for an eye doctor exam, you probably want to know what’s included in their eye exam. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and Nevada Eye Physicians recommends parents schedule their child’s eye exam as soon as possible. Your child’s vision is directly linked to how well they learn. Eye conditions and diseases can develop at any age and need to be detected early to stop them from progressing. Many parents wonder, “When should my child have their first eye exam?”

Our vision professionals recommend all children have their vision checked before the age of four. We offer pediatric eye care for young patients, which includes eye exams with diagnostic tests. All of our seven Nevada locations, including Henderson, Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, and Pahrump, offer eye exams for children.

What happens during a pediatric eye exam?

First, one of our doctors will look at the front of the eyes, including the cornea, eyelids, and lens. Next, the eyes will be dilated with drops to see the retina and optic nerve properly. It takes about a half-hour for the pupils to open after drops are administered, so your child will have time to play. A light and lenses are used to look closely at the back of the eye. Your child’s vision will be blurry from this dilation; however, this should go away after 12 – 24 hours.

What eye tests are included in a children’s eye exam?

A pediatric eye care exam includes these tests:

  1. Eye inspection: Our vision professional will inspect your child’s eyes and eyelids and test them for muscle movement. The pupils will also be examined by reflecting light into them.

  2. Cover test: This test determines if the eyes are aligned properly. Each eye is covered, one at a time, and we look for a shift in the eyes.

  3. Corneal Light Reflex test: A flashlight is used to look closely at the front of the eye and the cornea with light reflected on them. If reflexes aren’t sufficient, the test results will be determined to be abnormal.

  4. Acuity test: We will use an age-appropriate eye chart and have your child read different lines of characters, using one eye at a time.

During this eye exam, we will look for abnormal symptoms that may lead to vision loss. Refraction is a part of an eye exam that determines how your child sees at different distances. Based on these results, we will calculate a prescription for them if we believe they need glasses. At Nevada Eye Physicians, we are committed to ensuring your child’s vision is at its best.

About pediatric eye conditions

There are several eye conditions that can develop in young children. Our vision professionals at Nevada Eye Physicians specialize in diagnosing and treating the following:

  • Lazy eye

  • Wandering eye

  • Ptosis (drooping of eyelids)

  • Congenital glaucoma

  • Congenital cataracts

  • Conjunctivitis and other eye infections

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

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

While these vision screenings are useful to understand if your child has a problem with their vision, it’s important to have a regular child’s eye exam too. School vision screenings cannot diagnose conditions, but simply detect signs or symptoms that your child may have vision trouble. At Nevada Eye Physicians, we believe that eye exams are more comprehensive than vision screenings and recommend that annual eye exams are scheduled.

Schedule your child’s first eye exam

At Nevada Eye Physicians, we offer eye exams for children at all of our seven locations in Nevada, including Henderson, Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, and Pahrump. We understand the importance of eye exams and can explain every step of the process during your child’s appointment. We encourage parents to ask questions during the exam, so everyone feels comfortable visiting our eye center annually. To schedule an appointment for a pediatric eye exam, call one of our locations today.

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