What Happens at Your Child’s First Pediatric Eye Exam?

At birth, a baby's eyes and visual system are not fully developed. This is why they can't see perfectly as older kids and adults. Even if you don't notice any issues with their eyes or visual abilities, you should take your baby to an eye doctor.

The American Optometrist Association recommends that you bring your baby for their first comprehensive eye examination when they're about six months old. An early eye exam is crucial in detecting any potential problems that can affect their visual development. Are you wondering about what happens at your child's first pediatric eye exam? Read on to find out more about the procedure.


What to Expect During Your Doctor's Visit


Your baby's first pediatric eye exam will be similar to how it's done with adults. But the process is rather simplified. Your eye doctor will attempt to achieve a few objectives during your baby's eye exam. These include ruling out significant amounts of refractive errors like nearsightedness. They will also try to determine if your child has strabismus or squinty eyes and other eye muscle and binocular vision problems. Additionally, your eye doctor will check for any eye disease like congenital cataracts or tumors. 


During your appointment, the doctor will review your baby's medical history and evaluate their vision and eye structures. They will record observations of how your child focuses. They will also examine whether or not both of your baby’s eyes work together as a team. It's not uncommon for babies not to achieve full-time binocularity yet until they're between four and six months old. You may occasionally notice that their eye will go out or both eyes crossing. But this should occur briefly and not often. Your eye doctor will carefully assess that both of your baby's binocularity falls within the normal range. 


Common Tests Performed


Since your baby still can't talk and offer any subjective input, the doctor will conduct several tests to assess their sight. They will check if your baby reacts to light shone in their eyes. They will also determine if your baby will look at a face or follow a moving object. If necessary, the doctor may perform other vision tests.


The doctor may also temporarily dilate your child's pupils with special eye drops. Then, they will use an instrument to test if your baby has any refractive errors. The doctor may also use an ophthalmoscope, which is a light instrument with a magnifying glass. This way, they can look inside your child's eyes and assess the overall health of their eyes. 


Eye and vision problems in babies are usually rare. But issues can develop occasionally. Does your child seem extremely sensitive to light? Do they have red or encrusted eyelids? Perhaps they experience excessive tearing or constant eye turning. These are signs that your child may have an eye or vision problem. 


Visit Advanced Vision Institute today in Las Vegas, Nevada. Call us at (702) 819-9800 to make an appointment. 

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