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Eye Exams for Children

Did you know that eye exams are recommended for children as young as 6 months old? The Canadian Ophthalmological Society urges parents to seek an initial eye exam at this age to help with early detection of vision problems that can contribute to developmental delays, educational setbacks, and behavioural problems in children with difficulty seeing properly. Well, we didn't exactly make the 6 month appointment, but I finally got both girls in at 20 months and 4.5 years :) Although many schools and doctors will provide simple eye screening tests, a true eye exam should be performed by a Doctor of Optometry (Ophthalmologists are MDs who specialize in disorders of the eye, and you do not need to see one for an eye exam. However, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist in the event of eye disease or surgery).

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A simple Google search will pull up a number of different optometrists. I screened through several of the websites, and found one that I liked just down the road. Dr. Bender was really welcoming and professional, and made my girls feel right at home.

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The Dr. performed a number of tests, and they related to my daughter's level of comprehension and verbal abilities. My 4.5 was able to read letters of the alphabet, whereas my youngest is barely talking. I was amazed what the doctor could learn just by using various instruments!

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So far, their eye health is great, with just a couple things to look out for down the road. It gives me comfort knowing that we've had them checked out. Most eye disease is preventable, and there are clear signs that doctors can spot during exams that you may not even notice. Just because you can see doesn't mean nothing is wrong :)

And bonus? Eye exams under 20 years of age are covered by OHIP!