Your Child's Eye Examination
What Happens at My Child’s Eye Examination?
First, we would like to get to know your child. We will ask about your child's favorite activities and general health. We will ask questions about your child's eye problems, medical issues, medicines, allergies and any health problems in the family. Next, we will test how well your child sees. We will evaluate your child's depth perception, eye alignment (how the eyes line up) and eye movement. All these tests usually take between 10 and 20 minutes. If you have any questions, you should feel free to ask any time during the examination.
Looking Inside the Eye
In the second part of the examination, the doctor will look inside your child's eyes. First, drops are placed in your child's eyes to widen (dilate) the pupil. This is the black area at the center of the eye. The pupil needs to be as big as possible so the doctor can get the best view of your child's eye and determine if your child needs glasses. After the drops, you will wait 30 minutes to one hour for the pupil to open so the doctor can look inside.When your child's pupils are dilated, you will go back to the exam room. The doctor will look to see if your child is nearsighted, farsighted or has astigmatism. Then, she will decide whether your child needs glasses. Next, the doctor will look at your child's eye with special lights and lenses.
Talking With the Doctor
Your doctor will talk with you about the examination, diagnosis and possible treatment options. The doctor will teach you about the problem and the best type of treatment. We want to make sure you understand your child's eye problems and the treatment plan. We may give you printed information on your child's eye condition. If you wish, you can share this information with your child's pediatrician, teacher or other caregivers.
Who does the examination?
Your child may see two or three different people during the examination. An eye technician may test how well your child sees and do other parts of the examination. An orthoptist is trained to tell how well your child's eyes line up and move together. She will do this part of the testing.
Your doctor is a pediatric ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist is a doctor who went to medical school to learn how to treat eye problems. A pediatric ophthalmologist has additional training and experience with children's eye problems, treatment and surgery. He or she may also see adults with certain eye conditions.