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What to Expect During Your Child’s First Visit to the Kid’s Eye Doctor

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Pediatric eye care is very important to your child’s overall health, so it’s important that visits to the children’s eye doctor begin early on in life.

If you are feeling anxious about taking your child for a vision test, don’t worry! A visit to the kid’s eye doctor doesn’t have to be scary.

Knowing how to prepare your children for eye exams is key to making the experience a fun and exciting one.

At our Calgary clinic, our highly-qualified eye doctors perform kid-friendly eye exams to:

  • Detect any visual problems
  • Manage and/or treat any eye health issues
  • Determine whether eyeglasses or contact lenses are the best option for your child

What to Expect During a Visit to the Children’s Eye Doctor

Children’s eye exams are different from those for adults. At our Calgary eye clinic, we use specially designed charts that allow children to recognize shapes or pictures rather than the more traditional letters.

This means that our kid’s eye doctor can test your child’s eyes even if they are unable to read.

Scheduling a Children’s Eye Exam

Examining children can be unpredictable and slightly tricky. Doctors recommend that parents plan for up to 2 hours for a comprehensive children’s eye exam. Follow-up exams, if needed, can take up to 60 minutes.

For infants and toddlers, avoid planning a visit during their regular naptime. It may also be a good idea to bring along some snacks or a favorite toy.

During the eye exam, our optometrists will check for:

Preparing Your Child For Dilation

During a comprehensive eye exam, the children’s eye doctor may put some eyedrops into your child’s eyes.

This allows the doctor to check for any abnormalities inside the eye and it relaxes your child’s focus, allowing the optometrist to determine the appropriate eyeglass/contact lens prescription.

After dilation, your child will:

  • Temporarily be more sensitive to sunlight (it may be beneficial to bring a hat or sunglasses from home)
  • Experience blurred vision which may persist for up to 36 hours
  • Be able to return to school and participate in most activities but should be exempt from reading tasks and homework.

Getting Your Child Ready For Their Eye Exam

Your child’s first eye exam doesn’t have to be a stressful, anxious experience. There are some specific techniques parents can employ to ensure their children have a positive visit with the kid’s eye doctor.

These include:

Explain The Test Beforehand

The best way to prepare your child for the eye exam is to talk about it. Discuss how the eye doctor will help improve their eyesight and get rid of any problems such as redness or headaches.

In particular, explain that eyedrops may be administered to help the eye doctor examine better and, if possible, demonstrate how these will be given.

Alleviate Any Fears About Wearing Eyeglasses

Children are often hesitant to wear eyeglasses for the first time.

Before the eye exam, show them pictures of frames that match their tastes and preferences or explain that contact lenses may be an option (depending on age and maturity level.)

List Down Any Concerns/Questions

It is important to take time before the visit to the children’s eye doctor about anything you’ve noticed regarding your child’s vision such as:

  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Other health concerns

This information will help the eye doctor know what to look for.

Explain the Doctor’s Orders

After the appointment, make sure your child understands their role in following through on their eyewear responsibilities.

Show them how to gently handle their eyeglasses or care for their contact lenses.

Learn More

To find out more about our comprehensive children’s eye exams or how our kid’s eye doctors can help protect your child’s vision, contact our Calgary eye clinic today at 403-286-4884 or book an appointment.

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Our knowledgable and professional staff can answer all your questions. Call us today at 403-286-4884 or fill out the form below:

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