Annual Eye Exams for Children are Important

The American Optometric Association recommends that school-aged children have annual eye exams. Because the eyes change rapidly as a child grows, new eye conditions and refractive errors can develop without the child noticing.

A particularly important part of a child’s eye examination is assessing the eye alignment, eye teaming and motor skills required for proper alignment and function. Occasionally, eyes do not focus or align correctly and impede a child’s ability to learn efficiently. It can be difficult for children to describe what is happening or to even realize their vision is not normal. Nearly one out of every four children experience a visual impairment that can cause learning or reading difficulties. Nearly 80% of school material is taken in through the eyes and visual system emphasizing the importance of good vision.

It can sometimes be challenging to gain full cooperation from children during doctor exams. We designed our office with families in mind so that children will feel comfortable in our “Kids Only” play area where they can be at ease before being called back for their exam. Dr. Jones and the eye care team at eyeSMILE Vision take pride in making eye exams as fun and non-invasive as possible.

The eye exam is broken down into two parts:

1. Diagnostic data collection, which is completed by an Eye Care Technician
2. Vision and eye health evaluation, which is completed by a Doctor of Optometry

The Diagnostic data collection involves non-invasive technology, including:

  • Autorefraction and keratometry
  • Retinal photography
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
  • Visual field analysis
  • Tonometry, using a “no puff” tonometer to check your eye pressure

Dr. Jones will then perform a thorough evaluation that includes:

  • A visual examination to determine the prescription for glasses and contact lenses
  • A health exam to evaluate the overall health of the eye as it relates to the entire body

Dr. Jones may perform additional tests as needed.

Eye exams serve two functions:

  • To determine the child’s ability to see and if they require glasses or contact lenses
  • To evaluate the health of the eyes as they relate to the overall health of the child

Most children have healthy eyes, but with increased use of electronic devices both at school and home, it is important for the eyes to be checked regularly. Besides visual acuity, it is important to check that the eyes are properly aligned and focusing in a way that allows the visual system to be efficient.