Preparing your Child for the first Eye Exam

The possibility of the loss of eyesight is one of the single most traumatic physical problems for anyone to consider, but children primarily worry about having to wear glasses. Preparing your child for their first eye exam is achieved by reading age appropriate materials to the child about the eye. There are also videos that offer information that explains why going to the eye doctor is important and necessary and what the eye doctor might use to examine the eyes. These materials are available through the internet, at the doctor’s office, at the library and through other public health offices or retail outlets. Contact your eye doctor’s staff for their recommendations.

Explain to your child what the eye doctor will be testing their eyes for such as, to see how well their eyes can see and judge distance, whether the eyes are seeing colors properly, whether the child’s eyesight is fuzzy or one eye is stronger than the other eye. The doctor will also be able to determine how well the eyes are working with the other parts of their brain to help the child read and comprehend. The eye doctor might ask the child to identify random pictures, shapes, letters, or light on the wall and that it is important to cooperate with the exam. You can also explain that the eye doctor may put drops in their eyes, but that the will not hurt although they might make it difficult to see temporarily. You should also discuss with your child the positive aspects of seeing the eye doctor on a regular basis in order to prevent eyesight loss when found early.

There are three kinds of eye doctors: Ophthalmologists who specialize in eye care. They can prescribe eyeglasses and contacts and also perform eye surgery and treat medical conditions of the eye, Optometrists are eye doctors who can prescribe glasses and contacts and treat medical conditions of the eye with eyedrops and other medicines and then there are Opticians who are not doctors, but eye care professionals who adjust and repair glasses, instruct patients in the use of contact-lens use and grind and assemble eyewear.

With the invention and widespread use of contacts, glasses are not as much of a concern as they used to be, but contacts are still not practical for young children but the child should know that if glasses are necessary, if they are responsible they can eventually get contacts and that there have been many advancements in treating eye problems.

Remember that it is important to have some basic information with you at the time of your child’s eye exam, like medical insurance that specifically insures eye care and the doctor will also need a complete health history of your child, along with any medications that your child is taking.