The ABC’s of kid’s eye exams

Thorough eye exams with a practicing optometrist are essential to ensure a child’s eye health.

Undiagnosed eye conditions can lead to learning and behavioural problems, and can sometimes cause permanently reduced vision. Visique Rose Optometrist Jagrut Lallu notes “we know how important it is for kids to have proper vision, especially when they are sitting in class. A complete paediatric eye exam not only makes sure that your child is seeing 20/20 but also lets us identify any potential or existing eye health issues.”

Here’s how a typical kids eye exam works (and the common questions we hear from our patients).

A: We start with a thorough history, finding out about parent and teacher concerns. We gather information about any existing conditions affecting your child’s eyes or general health, and their development so far. We also ask about any relevant family history.

B: Then we go through a comprehensive exam that tests your child’s:

Distance and near vision
Eye alignment
Eye movements
Focusing ability
Refractive error (glasses prescription)
3D vision
Colour vision
Peripheral vision
Light reaction of pupils
Front of eye health
Back of eye health

C: Once the tests are done we decide if your child will benefit from glasses, contact lenses, eye exercises, patching, Irlen syndrome, monitoring or any combination of these. We can refer you and your child to other services if needed, such as educators who specialise in dyslexia.

We see patients from as early as six weeks old and also recommend that children have an eye examination prior to school or as soon as their caregiver or teacher has any concerns.

If there are no concerns and development is healthy we recommend children have their first eye exam with an optometrist at around age three and then again before they start school.