Your child should get their first eye exam by age 1. That might seem like a fairly early start, especially considering they can’t even read an eye chart yet. But getting their eyes checked by an optometrist gives them a shot to start treatment early, when it can work best.
If your child has lazy eye, for example, catching it early means they can get the care they need — like specialized eyeglasses or a patch — to help their lazy eye catch up.
Ultimately, getting your child’s eyes checked goes a long way toward helping them see clearly as they grow up. And we offer pediatric eye care, including eye exams, right here at our Benjamin Optical offices throughout New York City.
We also have some tips to help you and your child prepare for your first visit to see our team.
Know what to expect
Generally, at your child’s first eye exam we check their eyes to see if they can see far away and close up. We also look at the shape of their eyes, checking for astigmatism.
To ensure their eyes are working together the way they should, we have them follow a moving object (e.g. one of our optometrist’s fingers) and cover one eye, then the other. We also evaluate how their eyes respond to light and darkness.
This won’t be just like your adult eye exams — young kids can’t read an eye chart, after all. But it won’t be totally dissimilar. We’ll have them sit in a comfortable chair and we’ll use various tools to check how their eyes are working.
Schedule it at a good time
You know your child’s nap schedule and how they generally do throughout the day. If mornings are hard, don’t hesitate to ask our team for an afternoon appointment. If they nap a lot in the latter half of the day, we can set you up in the morning.
Our team is here to work with you to find the best slot possible for your child’s first eye exam.
Observe them beforehand
We have extensive experience evaluating children’s eyes, but we only have a limited amount of time with them during their appointment. You, on the other hand, have the benefit of seeing them as they go about their day.
In the weeks before their exam, watch them for signs of vision problems. That includes:
- Cocking their head
- Sitting close to things they want to see (e.g. the TV)
If you notice any of these things, talk with our team about it at your child’s eye exam. We can tailor their exam based on what you tell us.
To schedule your child’s first exam or to talk with our team about what to expect, call any of our offices, or book an appointment online today.