September 22, 2022

Why Eye Examinations Are Important For Young Children? A Complete Guide

As the start of school fast approaches us, we want to ensure our children are seeing the best they can! Whether it is your child’s first time in a classroom or they are returning after summer vacations it is important they get their eyes checked to reach their full potential in the classroom. About 80% of learning is done visually, especially in a child’s younger years. Many children can start school with undiagnosed vision issues or eye health problems. Common issues in children can include lazy eye (amblyopia), refractive errors like astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness, strabismus, and eye alignment issues. If these issues go unchecked it can greatly impact your child’s success in school and many vision problems can be misdiagnosed as learning disabilities. Many optometrists receive specialized training in pediatric optometry which allows them to provide a thorough analysis of your child’s eye health during their eye exams.

Comprehensive eye exams for children begin at 6 months old then between the age of 2-5 and yearly after that, unless you are advised to come in sooner by your optometrist! When your child comes in for their annual check-up they are not required to know the alphabet, optometrists have many tools like using picture charts instead to analyze the eyes! Children under the age of 19 are covered yearly by the Government of Alberta for their comprehensive eye exams, if additional testing like retinal imaging is required that is done at a cost set by the individual clinic. If your child is experiencing any sort of vision-related problem or it’s time for their yearly check-up, we’re here to assist you and your child takes the best care of your eyes at Eyedeology. Give us a call or use our online booking portal to book your appointment with Dr. Sunderji or Dr. Yang!

How often should a child get an eye exam?

Optometrists recommend getting eye exams starting at 6 months then between 2-5 years and yearly after that. 

Are children's eye exams free in Alberta?

The Government of Alberta covers eye exams for children until 19 yrs old. If there is any extra testing recommended like retinal imaging this can be done at an extra cost set by the individual clinic. All emergency exams are covered as well

Is my child eligible to get their eyes tested?

Yes, all children under the age of 19 are covered to get their eyes tested!

Why is it important for my child to have an eye exam before starting school?

Any sort of vision problem can hinder a child’s ability to achieve their best potential in school and can lead to learning challenges. Much of children’s learning is done visually therefore it is important that any vision issues are addressed

When should my child have a comprehensive eye exam?

Optometrists recommend comprehensive eye exams at 6 months, between the age of 2-5 years old and then yearly after that address any issues and maintain good ocular health

Do children have to know their ABCs before having an eye exam?

No, it is not necessary for children to know their ABCs prior to an eye exam as the recommended age to start getting eye exams is 6 months. Optometrists have tools like picture charts if needed to assess your child's eyes.

What is the cost of a child’s eye exam?

There is no charge for basic children's eye exams in Alberta. Some eye clinics do additional testing like retinal imaging which can come at a cost set by the clinic.

What problems can be detected during an eye exam?

Optometrists are able to detect a wide range of ocular conditions. Nearsightedness, astigmatism, farsightedness, amblyopia, strabismus, overall good ocular health, and eye alignment issues are some of the areas in which an optometrist can treat and improve your child’s eye health.

Why wouldn’t I know if my child has a vision or eye health problem?

Many vision issues do not have any symptoms and can be misdiagnosed as learning disabilities, attention or reading issues. It can be difficult for children to express any vision issues as they don’t know any better.

How can a vision problem affect my child’s learning ability?

Vision problems can cause a lack of focus, struggling in school, shortened attention span and trouble organizing letters and numbers. All these things impact learning ability and overall school performance. 

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