Children’s and Adolescent Eye Care
A comprehensive pediatric eye exam can diagnose many different vision disorders. Some of the more common eye conditions in children are: Your child may be nearsighted (myopia), farsighted (hyperopia) or have astigmatism. It is important that children who need glasses, wear them full time when they are young to develop good vision in each eye and three-dimensional vision. Dr. Schnipper and Dr. Brown offer comprehensive Eye Exams for children of all ages.
Kids Eye Exams
During your child’s comprehensive eye exam, visual acuity will be tested. This test measures the smallest object each eye can see at a certain distance. Normally, each eye will be done individually by covering one eye at a time. It may be necessary to tape a patch over a child’s eye to keep him from peeking. There are two types of charts used when testing children’s visions.
The Snellen Chart
The use of the Snellen chart is the most common way to test visual acuity. This chart letters and numbers that decrease in size. When taking the test, the distance between the patient and the chart is 20 feet. 20/20 vision is normal. If a person has 20/40 vision, they see at twenty feet what a normal eye sees at forty feet. If a person has 20/200 vision, they are legally blind. They only see at twenty feet what a normal eye sees at two hundred feet. If they have 20/15 vision, they see better than normal. They see at twenty feet what the normal eye would have to bring in to fifteen feet to see.
The Tumbling E Chart
For children that do not know letters and numbers, they can be tested with the Tumbling E chart. To take this test, the child points his/her finger in the same direction as the E is pointing. Children who are younger than four may have trouble with this test so there are several different tests used to obtain a child’s accurate visual acuity.
What Else Is Tested During A Child’s Eye Exam?
On top of the chart tests, Dr. Schnipper will conduct further tests to ensure that your child is properly diagnosed. These tests will include:
- Check for indications of crossed eyes
- Tests to check eye-hand-foot coordination
- Check to ensure the child is using both eyes
- Tests to determine how well the child’s vision skills are developing
- Tests to determine the normal color vision
When to Schedule An Eye Exam for Your Child
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, schedule your appointment today at Jacksonville Eye Center.
- Holding a book too close to their eyes.
- Difficulty reading the blackboard in school.
- Complaints of blurry eyesight.
- Squinting a lot.
- Closing or covering one eye in order to see.
Common Eye Problems in Children
As stated above, early detection, diagnosis, and proper treatment are critical in preserving your children’s ocular health. Unfortunately, there are many conditions to look out for when it comes to your child’s vision. Two common disorders include Amblyopia and Strabismus.
Amblyopia or “lazy eye” – Amblyopia occurs when the vision is reduced in one eye, causing it to be weaker than the other. This can occur because there is a difference in prescription between the 2 eyes and one eye becomes more dominant. Or, amblyopia can occur because of strabismus, or misaligned eyes. If an eye turns in or out, it does not see as clearly as the straight one and becomes weaker. Rarely, cataracts or severely droopy eyelids can cause amblyopia as well.
The main treatment for amblyopia is patching the stronger, more dominant eye to allow the weaker eye a chance to gain vision. Dilating drops can also be used in some cases to blur the vision in the better eye, in essence working as a patch.
Strabismus or misaligned eyes – Eyes can cross in (esotropia), drift out (exotropia) or be higher or lower than the other (hypertropia or hypotropia). For specific kinds of strabismus, glasses are sufficient to straighten a child’s eyes, otherwise, eye muscle surgery is required.
Rarely, children can also develop cataracts, retinal or optic nerve problems, which can also decrease their vision.