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What to Expect From Your Childs First Eye Exam

If it’s time for your child to see the eye doctor, you may be wondering what to expect from the eye exam. Here is some basic information from our Calgary optometrist to help you prepare for this appointment.

Clear and comfortable vision is crucial to a child’s personal and educational development, which is why visits to the eye doctor should begin early on in life. Knowing how to prepare your child for an appointment with an optometrist is key to making the experience more pleasant and stress-free.

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

  • detect any visual problems
  • diagnose and manage/treat any eye health issues
  • determine whether your child requires prescription eyeglasses
  • ensure your child’s vision is developing properly

Qualified and Friendly Eye Doctors in Calgary

At our Calgary eye clinic, our qualified optometrists provide a wide range of vision services, including children’s eye exams, contact lens fittings, and eye emergency care, to ensure your little one’s eyes always stay healthy.

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Your Child’s First Visit To The Optometrist: What to Expect

If your little one needs to see the eye doctor, you might be wondering exactly what to expect from the first appointment. Typically, the optometrist will ask about your child’s health, lifestyle, activity-level, eye problems, and other health problems.

If your child is old enough, the eye doctor will probably talk to them as well, helping your little one feel more comfortable and in control.

What Eye Tests Will My Child Have?

During your child’s first visit to the optometrist, they will undergo several different vision tests.

These include:

  • Visual Acuity Test. Your eye doctor will test how well your child sees at different distances. If your child can read, a standard chart will be used. If not, shapes and single letters are used. This test also checks depth perception.
  • Pupil Test. This checks how eyes respond to light. A bright light is shone into the eyes for a brief moment to ensure pupils are working normally.
  • Eye Movement Test. A finger will be moved in different directions in front of your child’s eyes to check how they follow it. It will also check the peripheral (side) vision.

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Preparing Your Child For Dilation

During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist may put some eye drops into your child’s eyes. This is called dilation and allows your eye doctor to check for any abnormalities within the eye. It also relaxes focus, allowing the doctor to determine the appropriate eyeglasses prescription.

After dilation, your child will:

  • be more sensitive to sunlight
  • experience blurred vision (this could persist for up to 36 hours)
  • be able to participate in most activities but should avoid reading tasks and homework for at least 24 hours.

Tip: Sunglasses can be very helpful after a dilated eye exam to protect your child’s eyes from light sensitivity. Although your child can return to school, teachers should be made aware of dilated eyes and possible blurred vision.


4 Tips To Prepare Your Child For a Visit To The Eye Doctor

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. Discuss how the eye doctor will help improve their eyesight and that they may use some eye drops.
  • Alleviate fears about wearing eyeglasses. Before the eye exam, show children some pictures of frames they may like and if they’re old enough, explain that contact lenses may be an option.
  • List down their questions and concerns. If you’ve noticed any signs in your child, or they’re complaining about headaches, squinting, or dry eyes, make sure to note these down and ask about them during your appointment.
  • Explain their responsibilities. Whether it’s before or after the appointment, make sure your child understands the important role they play in maintaining the health of their eyes and vision.

Call Today

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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