Children’s eye exams include many of the same things as an adult one, with some changes to suit the individual child (e.g. differences for younger children who aren’t reading yet). Your child’s visit to the optometrist may include some or all of the following:
- Visual acuity: The visual acuity test helps find out how well a person can see without glasses or contact lenses. Your child will be shown an eye chart and asked what they can see. Older children are shown a letter chart and young children are shown pictures or shapes.
- Eye muscles: It is important to check for any problems in binocular vision (how both eyes work together) – especially for children. A simple assessment known as the “cover test” lets the optometrist identify how well the eye muscles work together.
- Pupil function: The optometrist will assess whether your child’s pupils function similarly using a bright torch. The pupils should expand or contract at the same rate and to the same size. A difference in pupillary reaction could signal to the optometrist to investigate further.
- Slit lamp assessment: The slit lamp consists of a microscope and powerful light source, which lets the optometrist look at different parts of the eye to make sure they are all healthy.
- Refraction: Refraction is the vision assessment required to find your exact prescription. The optometrist will work with your child to identify which lens power provides the clearest vision for them.