Taking the Anxiety Out of Children’s Eye Exams

Just like any other trip to the doctor, a children’s eye exam can be scary if you’ve never experienced it before. If your child has a routine eye exam coming up and it is their first one, parents can do several things to help turn this into a positive experience rather than an anxious one. Here are a few ways that you can help:

• Don’t keep the appointment a secret! When it comes to children’s eye exams, one of the worst things you can do is spring them on your child. Tell them before the exam and help them prepare rather than show up to the office with a child who is confused and scared. This will only make them more anxious.

Taking the Anxiety Out of Children’s Eye Exams

• Play “eye exam” with your child. While you won’t have the office, the chair or the equipment, you can have your child pretend the basic components of an eye exam by pretending to look in their eyes or having them cover an eye and find a picture on the wall.

• Be positive before, during and after your children’s eye exams. Children often take cues from their parents, and if you are anxious or worried during an exam, they will be, too. Making this a positive experience can benefit them over their lifetime, so say only positive things and have an upbeat attitude for this process.

• Take a comfort item. Does your child have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal? Most routine children’s eye exams will be just fine for a special security friend to accompany your child.

These are just a few things that can help your child during an eye exam. For other tips, please call the office of Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry today.

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Children’s Eye Exams: A Guide for Parents

Here at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, we know that you want what’s best for your children. You want to keep your child in good health, and that includes looking after their visual health. The key to good visual health is regular eye exams, so in this article, our team will go over what you need to know about when to make an appointment for a children’s eye exam and what exactly the doctor will be looking at.

a children’s eye exam for an infant typically looks for signs of nearsightedness

•   When to Have a Children’s Eye Exam. One question many parents have is when they should take their child for their first eye exam. The answer is that your child is ready for their first exam once they reach the age of six months. Although this may seem young, six months of age is the perfect time to check on your baby’s eye development, to ensure that their eyes are working well together, and it is also a perfect opportunity to check for early signs of eye disease. Most experts, including our team here at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, recommend that you also have your child’s eyes examined when they reach three years of age, and again before they begin school at age five or six.

•   What Tests are Involved. In addition to the eye development and movement check and disease screening mentioned above, a children’s eye exam for an infant typically looks for signs of nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or distorted vision (astigmatism). Although signs of these problems are uncommon at this age, the examination provides an opportunity for early detection and treatment when needed. For older children, an eye exam typically includes an eye chart test (using shapes or flying E’s for those who don’t yet know the alphabet). Our team at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry will continue to check for the problems mentioned earlier, as well as test your child’s ability to focus, their colour vision, and depth perception. The doctor might use eye drops to dilate your child’s pupils in order to closely examine the retina; these drops may sting or cause blurriness, but only for a short time.

We at Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry hope that this article helps you prepare for your next children’s eye exam. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to call our team.

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Did You Know that Children’s Eye Exams are Covered by OHIP?

Children’s Eye Exams in Newmarket, OntarioMaking sure your children get regular eye exams is as important as getting routine health screenings, yet many do not call for children’s eye exams because they do not want to incur the cost. The good news is that up to age 20, each person is covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) for one exam every 12 months, as well as for any follow-up that the optometrist or physician deems necessary. There are a number of reasons why children’s eye exams are important.

One of the major reasons for children’s eye exams is to ensure your child does not need vision correction in order to participate fully in their studies. Often a child is unable to voice that they are unable to properly see the teacher and the material presented. They think it is normal for things to be fuzzy, and you may have no idea that their school work is suffering because of it.

Another reason children’s eye exams are important is because many eye conditions can be corrected if diagnosed early. This can be the case with eye misalignments and amblyopia, also known as lazy eye. Many conditions are not easily noticeable by parents and others close to the child, so getting an eye exam is critical.

At Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, we accept OHIP covered patients, including those under 20 who qualify for children’s eye exams and seniors age 65 and older who are also eligible. If you have questions about any of our services and want to know if OHIP would cover the cost of your child’s eye exam, give us a call. We also accept most insurance carriers and self-payment.

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What Happens During Children’s Eye Exams?

Children’s Eye ExamsOnce an infant reaches the age of 6 months, it is recommended that they have their first eye exam.   At an infant eye exam, the optometrist will check the development of the eye, for refractive error, and for any differences between the eyes.  To check the development of the eyes, a tool called an ophthalmoscope is used, and to check for refractive errors, a technique called retinoscopy is used.

These same tools and techniques can be used during children’s eye exams, as well.  In addition to this, there are special charts made for use in children’s eye exams.  These charts are made up of shapes, animals, and objects and are targeted at children 3 years of age and older.

It is important for young people to have routine children’s eye exams because, more often than not, children don’t realize that they have a vision problem, and uncorrected vision problems can lead to further eye problems down the road.  Also, the majority of learning for children is visual learning.   With an uncorrected vision problem, a child could encounter learning difficulties.

At Dr. Miller & Dr. Tilis Family Optometry, a children’s eye exam should take only 30 minutes and annual exams are covered up to age 19. Contact us today to schedule your child’s next appointment.

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