This is part 2 of a 3 part series on Pediatric Eye Care with Dr. Scott Lewis.
What can a child / parent expect during a pediatric eye exam?
Don’t worry if your child isn’t fully confident in their letters. We can still check visual acuity using other types of charts. We also have an instrument that is very accurate in estimating the child’s prescription status. Parents are encouraged to be in the exam room while the exam is taking place. Although children are often nervous about having an eye exam, it usually does not take long for them to become comfortable during the exam.
In addition to a routine eye exam, what other services do parents bring their children to your office for?
Eye infections are probably the most common reason we see children other than a routine exam. Not all “pink eye” infections are bacterial in nature, so proper assessment from an eye doctor is needed to manage these cases appropriately. We also sometimes see children that have suffered eye injuries.
What is your busiest time of year for eye exams for kids?
Late summer and early fall are usually the busiest time for eye exams for kids. Sometimes parents want to get their vision before school starts, which is a great idea. We also see many children in the early weeks of the school year when they realize that they are struggling to see far away, or suffering from eyestrain issues with nearpoint work.
Can you share a story that was particularly successful or inspirational about pediatric eye care at your office?
In my experience, school screenings can often give a false sense of a child’s vision status. These screenings typically are only trying to discover children with distance vision issues. It takes a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor to discover problems such as poor focusing up close, amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (turned eye), convergence insufficiency, and poor binocular vision. These problems can be missed by school screenings, yet can cause extreme difficulty for a child in a learning environment. Many of my pediatric eye exam success stories revolve around discovering and prescribing solutions for problems revolving around near vision challenges.