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How Often Should Your Child Get an Eye Exam?

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A young boy wearing a jean jacket undergoing a slit lamp test.

Your child’s vision is constantly changing and should be monitored as they grow older so they can maintain clear, healthy sight. A comprehensive eye exam forms the basis of children’s eye care and can support them as they grow and their eyes change or become affected by conditions like myopia.

Most children should have an eye exam every year, often before school starts. Your child should first visit an optometrist around the age of 4–6 months old. After this initial exam, your child should return once a year for a comprehensive children’s eye exam—so we can monitor any changes and help keep your child’s vision clear.

The Importance of Children’s Eye Exams

Did you know that approximately 80% of many children’s learning is vision-based? Whether it’s when your child is trying to read the board in school, learning to write their letters, or even playing during their breaks, vision can play an extremely crucial role in how successful your child is at school.

But vision isn’t always perfect. There are many common conditions that develop in early childhood that can have an impact on your child’s vision, such as:

Children’s eye exams can be an excellent way to detect eye conditions early and help keep your child’s sight strong. During your visit, we’ll examine your child’s eyes thoroughly to detect problems they may be having with their vision. Then, if any problems exist, we can work closely with you to design an appropriate treatment plan.

Addressing vision problems early helps support your child’s eye health and their experiences at school.

How Often Should Children Get Eye Exams?

We know you’re always trying to give your child support for daily life, and their vision is a crucial part of their life at school. Ensuring your child has the support they need for their vision each year is especially important as they head back to school in the fall.

Vision problems can have a serious effect on a child’s growth and development. Difficulties with your child’s sight can also impact their performance in school and other activities, making it essential that vision problems are identified and corrected early.

Children’s eye exams should become an annual tradition. Every year, you can return to us for a comprehensive children’s eye exam, where we can help support your child’s vision and address any potential vision problems before they become school problems.

What to Expect at a Children’s Eye Exam

A young boy holding a white occluder during a visual acuity test.

Children’s eye exams are designed to be child-friendly and informative—for kids and their parents. We know the experience can be a challenge for some kids, so we also strive to help kids feel comfortable during their visit for an exam.

 During the exam, you and your child can expect:

  • A quick review of your and your family’s medical history so we can gain an understanding of whether or not your child may be at an increased risk of certain genetic eye diseases.
  • A visual acuity test, where your child will read letters on an eye chart at a set distance so we can gain an understanding of their vision.
  • Pupil and eye movement monitoring to see how well their eyes respond to light.
  • An assessment of their overall eye health so we can check for eye conditions and diseases.

If we believe your child could benefit from some form of vision correction, we may perform something called a refraction test with a machine that has a series of different lenses inside it. We will have your child look through each of the lenses, comparing them to each other until we can narrow down the exact prescription your child needs!

If we need to perform any other tests, we’ll take the time to explain what they are and why we may be recommending them.

Comprehensive Eye Exams for Your Child

The importance of children’s eye exams can’t be overstated. Vision is an essential part of life for many kids, and when school starts up again, that can be an excellent time to visit your optometrist. As a parent, you can help your child succeed in their education by supporting their sight with routine, comprehensive eye exams. At Danville Optometric Group, we know how important eye care is for kids and parents. Book an appointment for you and your child to visit us for your comprehensive eye exams!

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Written by Dr. Gregory Tom

Dr. Tom is committed to providing comprehensive eye care to the people of Danville and prides himself on continuing to enhance his medical skills through education and training.

Graduating with honors in 1989, Dr. Tom earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from UC Berkeley. He continued his education at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry, graduating in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiological Optics, and again in 1994 with a Doctorate in Optometry.

More Articles By Dr. Gregory Tom

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