SPECTRUM Optometry - Bringing Vision to Life - kidexam

By: Spectrum Optometry  09-12-2011
Keywords: eye exam, eye examination

When Should Children Have Their Eyes Examined?
The first examination by your optometrist is recommended at 6 months of age. The child should be seen sooner only if abnormalities are noticed. If everything is normal at the first exam, the second exam is at 3 years of age and then yearly until the child is finished school.

What does it mean to have crossed-eyes?
The term crossed-eyes refers to a condition called strabismus. Strabismus occurs when the eyes point in different directions. This often presents in children before 2 years of age, but can occasionally have a later onset. Strabismus is not a condition that a child will grow out of. In fact, initially strabismus may be present only under certain conditions and then over a period of years it may become constant. Spectacles, bifocal spectacles, exercises and even surgery are possible methods of treatment. In almost all cases of strabismus, early treatment improves the prognosis.

Signs and Symptoms of Eye Problems in Infants

  • Discharge from eyes
  • Droopy eyelid
  • A white pupil
  • Eyes that wander, shake or vibrate
  • Eyes full of tears when the infant is not crying
  • Swelling or a bump around the eyes or eyelids
  • Not looking at parents by 3 months of age
  • An eye that turns in or turns out
  • A difference in size, shape or colour of the eye or eyelids
    Redness of the eye

If any of these signs or symptoms is present, your infant should have a complete eye examination as soon as possible. All infants should have their first routine eye exam at 6 months of age.

Signs and Symptoms of Eye Problems in Children

  • Pain in or around the eye
  • An eye that turns in or turns out
  • A consistent head tilt or turn
  • Occasional closing of one eye, especially in bright light
  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Cannot identify things far away
  • Headaches
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Droopy eyelid
  • A white pupil
  • Swelling or a bump around the eyes or eyelids
  • A difference in size, shape or colour of the eye or eyelids
  • Redness of the eye
  • Avoidance of near work

If any of these signs or symptoms is present your child should have a complete eye examination as soon as possible. All children should have a routine eye exam at 3 years of age and every year thereafter.

Research has recently shown that high amounts of UV exposure in childhood lead to a condition called macular degeneration. This condition causes the loss of central vision in seniors.

UV protection is found in most sunglasses sold in North America. UV protection can also be found in some contact lenses and a clear UV filter can be applied to any prescription spectacles. Young children who will not cooperate with wearing sunglasses can be given some protection with wide-brim hats when in the sun.

Some inexpensive sunglasses have the UV protection as a coating that wears off, so consider them disposable.

Vision Skills Required for Learning
In order to see and understand the information presented to a child in school, many different vision skills are required. These skills include;

  • Clear distance vision
  • Clear near vision
  • The ability to rapidly change focus from distance to near
  • Maintaining focus at near without fatigue
  • Accurate control of eye position, movement and tracking
  • Coordinating both eyes to focus at the same spot at all times.

Over 80% of learning is through vision and so it is important to ensure that your child is putting their effort into learning the information presented to them, rather than putting the effort into seeing the information.

Tips for making your child's eye examination a positive experience

  • Make an appointment for early in the day when the child is awake and attentive.
  • Talk to the child about the examination in advance and let them ask questions.
  • Let the child observe your eye exam on an earlier day

Keywords: eye exam, eye examination

Other products and services from Spectrum Optometry

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SPECTRUM Optometry - Bringing Vision to Life - services

Comprehensive Eye Examinations Your eye examination will include assessment of your vision, measurement of your spectacle prescription, how your eyes work together, and the health of your eyes, checking for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration. Following the MSP and BCAO guidelines, a full eye examination does not include a contact lens evaluation; therefore patients are billed for contact lens services when they are provided.


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SPECTRUM Optometry - Bringing Vision to Life - eyeexam

Infants need to be checked for a lazy or turned eye which can be corrected only when the child is very young and that is the main reason for the first eye exam at 6 months of age. Routine eye health examinations for healthy young adults should be done every two years with the expectation that you come sooner if you are having any problems.


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SPECTRUM Optometry - Bringing Vision to Life - retinalimaging

This window into your circulatory system allows the doctor to diagnose and manage conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, retinal detachments, glaucoma and macular degeneration. As light enters the eye, it is focused on the retina and this visual information is then sent directly from the retina to the brain so you can see images.


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SPECTRUM Optometry - Bringing Vision to Life - eyeglasses

Bifocal lenses have a line separating the top of the lens which focuses in the distance from the bottom of the lens which focuses at one near point usually 40 cm from your eyes. Once people reach their 40's the eye muscles that used to help change focus gradually lose that ability and it becomes difficult to read when wearing your distance lenses.