Pediatric Eye Exams

Pediatric Eye Exams

Dr. Lucas completed a residency in pediatrics and infant vision at the State University of New York College of Optometry in New York City. Dr. Lucas has a passion for pediatric eye care, strabismus, myopia management, learning related visual issues, and vision therapy. Dr. Lucas sees children of all ages.

Regular eye exams are important for children since their eyes can change significantly in as little as a year as the muscles and tissue develop. Good eyesight is critical for a child’s life and achievements since success in school is closely tied to eye health. School demands intense visual involvement, including reading, writing, using computers, and blackboard/smartboard work. Even physical activities and sports require strong vision. If their eyes aren’t up to the task, a child may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, have problems in school or have difficulty playing their favorite games which may affect their overall quality of life.

When to Perform a Pediatric Eye Exam?

The American Optometric Assocation recommends children have their first eye exam before the age of one. The next exam should be between the ages of 3 and 5. Most importantly, a child should have their eyes examined before first grade and annually thereafter. Dr. Lucas Wilson is an InfantSEE provider, which provides free eye exams to children under the age of one.  

The first eye examination should be done to infants between six months and the first birthday. This examination includes tests of pupil responses to evaluate whether the pupil opens and closes properly in the presence or absence of light, a fixate and follow test to determine whether the baby can fixate on an object such as a light and follow it as it moves, and a preferential looking test which uses cards that are blank on one side with stripes on the other side to attract the gaze of an infant to the stripes and thus vision capabilities can be assessed. Infants should be able to perform this task well by the time they are 3 months old.

For a Preschooler, between the ages of 3 and 4, a child’s visual acuity and eye alignment should be assessed. If the child is diagnosed with misaligned eyes (strabismus), "lazy eye” (amblyopia), refractive errors (astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia) or any other focusing problems, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to ensure successful vision correction and life-long benefits.

In addition to basic visual acuity, a child's exam may assess the following visual skills that are required for learning and mobility:

  • Binocular vision

  • Color Vision

  • Tracking

  • Eye health


What are some signs my child might have a vision issue?

There are some signs that parents can tell if their child has a vision problem. For example, the child may squint, hold reading materials very close to their face, or complain about things appearing blurry. However, there are some less obvious signs that may indicate vision problems, such as having a short attention span, quickly losing interest in games, projects or activities that require using their eyes for an extended period of time, or losing their place when reading. As well as choosing to avoid reading, drawing, playing games or doing other projects that require focusing up close. Another sign is that a child may turn his or her head to the side when looking at something in front of them.

What are the solutions to my child's vision issue?

If the doctor does determine that your child has a vision problem, they may discuss a number of therapeutic options such as glasses, contact lenses or vision therapy. Since some conditions are much easier to treat when they are caught early while the eyes are still developing, it is important to diagnose any eye and vision issues as early as possible.

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