Eye Exam for Kids: Vision, Function and Health Testing
Achieving the best sight possible and maintaining optimal eye health is Ginter's Eyecare Center main focus. We recommend that Lubbock area parents schedule a comprehensive childhood exam as their children reach six months of age.
Optometric children’s services include an array of tests designed to identify problems as soon as possible. Early intervention is often the key to successfully treating childhood disorders like strabismus (crossed eyes) and lazy eye syndrome (amblyopia). Left untreated, both conditions may lead to serious learning challenges as they enter school.
Newborns do not possess fully developed vision skills which make vision unclear and focusing difficult. However, by the time your child is six months old, he or she should be able to distinguish colors, follow moving objects and judge distance (depth perception) efficiently.
Our doctors at Ginter Eyecare Center use the following tests to determine how well your infant sees.
- By three months of age, infants should be able to fix their gaze on an object and follow its movement. Fix and follow testing confirms normal maturity patterns.
- Pupil response testing evaluates how pupils respond to light. Differences in pupil size in dark environments may indicate retinal or optic nerve weakness (Relative Afferent Pupillary Defect).
- Preferential looking tests measure visual acuity against developmental standards.
The American Optometric Association recommends an extensive eye exam at six months, followed by a comprehensive evaluation around three years and a follow up exam between the fifth and sixth year of life. Visual acuity continues to mature as your child grows, reaching full maturity somewhere between the ages of 5 and 15. Contrast sensitivity develops more slowly, typically reaching full maturity between the ages of 8 and 19.
There is no gold standard for toddler screenings (children ages 15 to 36 months). The same test methods, or modified versions, used for infants are repeated along with the following:
- Visually evoked response testing monitors brain activity when your child is exposed to stimuli such as light or bright patterns on a card.
- Cover and uncover tests involve covering one eye and examining alignment and movement of the eye while focusing on an object.
- Color identification tests look for color blindness.
- Visual acuity tests using shapes and symbols rather than letters are similar to adult eye chart tests. They are used to identify problems with clarity at various distances, near- (myopia), mid- and far-range (presbyopia). Blurry vision at all distances may indicate astigmatism.
Children: Vision, Function and Health Testing
Formal vision tests continue as your child matures. Depending on hereditary risk factors, overall health and vision history, the doctors at Ginter Eyecare Center may use computerized equipment, standard charts, special instruments or a combination of resources to evaluate:
- Two-eyed coordination (binocular vision)
- Eye movement skills and muscle function
- Peripheral vision
- Inner eye pressure (Tonometry)
- Corneal thickness (Pachymetry)
Scheduling Childhood Eye Exams
Childhood eye exams are crucial to maintaining healthy sight throughout their life. Don’t wait! Call our Lubbock office to schedule an appointment at Ginter Eyecare Center today!