Children's Eye Exams: What You Need To Know

As parents we comfort our children so they aren’t scared, we calm their fears, and we say time and time again that everything is going to be ok. But if you suspect your child has vision issues you may be in need of some reassurance. Whether you are booking a routine eye exam, or are addressing some concerns, here is what to expect when you bring your child to the eye doctor.
 

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Your Child’s Eye Exam:
Things That May be of Concern

 

Children require frequent eye exams to measure things such as eye health, vision, control, hand-eye coordination, and focus. Because kids grow at such a rapid pace, regular eye examinations with an optometrist will ensure that their growth is developmentally age-appropriate. Some behaviors and possible concerns to watch for in your kid are:

  • Sensitivity to indoor and outdoor light
  • Covering one or both of their eyes
  • Drooping or ‘lazy’ eye
  • Holding toys or books too close to their face
  • Squinting eyes to focus
  • Constant eye rubbing
  • Excessive clumsiness

Should you have any concerns about your child's vision, booking them in for an eye exam right away is a good idea. Sunridge Eye Clinic is your reliable Calgary Optometrist for accurate children’s eye examinations. 
 

Instruments to Assist
in a Children's Eye Exam

There are two pieces of technology that your professional pediatric eye doctor can use to measure, test, and check your child’s vision. Both are incredibly safe and offer different benefits:

  • An Aberrometer is an instrument that measures the distortions of light in the eye- specifically the cornea and lens. What this means is that Aberrometry, also known as wavefront technology, will measure waves of light to diagnose many well-known eye conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.
  • An Autorefractor is a machine that determines the eye's ability to take in light. Simply put, this computerized device can be used during your children’s eye examination to measure and determine the shape of the retina. This allows your optometrist to determine what kind of corrective lens, if any, is needed for your child.

Aberrometer and Autorefractor: How They Are Used a Kid’s Eye Exam

Both the Aberrometer and the Autorefractor can be used to perform a full eye exam. As mentioned above, they are each reliable, safe, and offer many benefits. We understand that a child’s eye exam can be worrisome for you, especially when you have concerns, but here is what you can expect when we use these amazing technologies to test your child’s vision: 


Steps in an Aberrometer exam:

  1. Your eye doctor will ask your child to place their chin on the chin rest.
  2. After a few seconds, and no noise whatsoever, the measurement is completed and your optometrist will have a report
  3. This report will determine any course of action for vision correction through children's glasses,  contact lenses for older kids, or in more severe cases, optical surgery.
  4. Steps in an Autorefractor exam:
  5. Much like the Aberrometer, your child’s optometrist will ask your child to rest their chin on the holder.
  6. The Autorefractor determines if any correction is needed after a fast and silent measurement is taken.
  7. Often this test is quickly followed by a piece of equipment called a Phoropter which looks like a large mask with holes to stare through at a chart of letters. For children who cannot yet identify letters, your eye doctor will use a chart of common recognizable pictures.
  8. The measurements from both the Autorefractor and the Phoroptor are then translated into a prescription for your child’s corrective eyeglasses.

In a comparison of the Aberrometer and Autorefractor published in the National Library of Medicine, it was found that both measurements were comparable and offered substantial ease of use.
You can rest assured that you are in great hands with either technology for your child’s eye exam.
 

Wave Measurement Technology
For Eye Examinations

Whether you are bringing your young baby for their first eye examination, a toddler to test their eye development, or an older child who has been struggling with reading, a children’s exam is always a good idea to ease your concerns and provide any vision correction if needed. At Sunridge Eye Clinic, our team of experienced and knowledgeable eye doctors in Northeast Calgary will always use the best, safest, and current technology to help your child through all stages of their vision health journey.
 

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FAQ's

How does a wavefront Aberrometer work?

A wavefront aberrometer is a highly accurate technology that helps eye care practitioners to diagnose and cure eye ailments. It works by measuring variations of the eye from the cornea to the retina by producing a map of the imperfections of the eye.

How does an Autorefractor work?

An autorefractor will assess how light bends as it moves through your cornea and the lens of your eyes to help your eye doctor determine whether you need corrective lenses or not. An autorefractor is a routine part of every eye examination.

Why do I need to take my child for an eye exam?

Many parents don't realize that their child has vision issues because the child has not, or cannot express that they are having a problem. Because our children don’t know any different, they assume that the way they are seeing and feeling is just the way it is. It’s estimated that 25% of children in Alberta start school with some sort of undiagnosed vision concerns. At Sunridge Eye Clinic we not only advocate and educate for frequent children’s eye exams, but we also connect families with programs that make eye care more affordable and accessible here in Alberta. Contact us today to learn more
 


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