Making 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.
Once 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.