According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, one out of every four children will develop vision problems by the time they reach school age.
Often, kids are unable to properly articulate problems with their eyes due to inexperience and a lack of knowledge.
Regular eye exams are the best method to ensure that your kids’ eye health and visual development are monitored.
Children already face enough obstacles when it comes to learning. We often encounter families where the child’s performance in school significantly improves once their visual impairments are identified and treated.
Annual eye exams and other visits as needed for children under the age of 19 are covered by Alberta Health. Ask us for more information when you schedule your kids for their exams.
We understand how difficult it can be to motivate your children to visit the Optometrist. With that in mind, we place a special focus on engaging and educating your kids so that they take interest in their eye health.
We take special care when performing an eye exam on kids. We recognize the impacts that eye health can have on education and thus remain committed to our extensively-detailed examination approach. We believe that there is never too much information when discussing eye health.
Below is a description of the tests that we will perform.
We perform a visual acuity test so we can measure the clarity of your child’s eye sight. We perform this test with a snellen eye chart.
We also use the Ishihara Test to test for colour blindness. This test is only done during their first exam with us, unless there is evidence that this test needs to be administered again.
Although colour blindness often occurs later on in life, it is not uncommon for it to occur in children, as it can be the result of an underlying health condition.
If you suspect your child is experiencing colour blindness, do not hesitate to contact us to schedule an exam right away.
Our Optometrist uses the Refraction Test to determine your child’s eyeglass prescription. The test is done with a phoropter, which is a series of lenses with different prescriptions.
Your child will be required to look through several lenses so the Optometrist can determine which lenses (prescription) provides your child with the clearest vision.
Rocky Ridge Eye Centre uses a nonintrusive icare tool instead of the common air puff test to test your child for Glaucoma.
If your child currently wears contact lenses or is interested in them, inform us when you make their appointment so we can schedule them in with our expert contact lens staff.
The cover test is one that many of our younger patients enjoy. It is also one of our easiest exams. The Optometrist will cover one of your child’s eyes and ask them to focus on an item from different distances.
This test is done to detect vision defects, such as strabismus or binocular vision which are issues that may cause eye strain, fatigue, or lazy eye.
This test is similar to the refraction test, except the Optometrist uses it to discern the lens power that is needed to correctly focus light on your child’s retina. This helps to verify your child’s prescription and is very accurate.
Our Optometrist uses special eye drops to dilate your child’s pupils so he can better inspect your child’s eye anatomy for eye diseases. The drops typically start working within 20 to 30 minutes of exposure and it may take several hours for the effects to wear off.
We encourage you to bring sunglasses for your child to wear during their trip home from our clinic for their comfort.
Using a biomicroscope along with a slit lamp tool, our Optometrist will shine a thin ray of light into your child’s eye to examine the eyelid, iris, sclera, conjunctiva, cornea, and lens for the presence of eye diseases. They will then use a secondary lens to check the retina.
This exam is done to identify disturbances in your child’s central and side (peripheral) vision. It can also show if certain conditions, such as stroke, brain tumors, neurological defects, and glaucoma are present.
If your child complains about headaches, eye pain, floaters, or is squinting and blinking more than usual, contact us right away for an appointment.
From start to finish, your child’s eye exam will last for approximately twenty to thirty minutes.
Early testing and treatment can decrease their risk of lifelong vision challenges. Your child should undergo their first eye exam when they are between six to nine months old.
Children between the ages of two to five years old should see an Optometrist annually.
Children between the ages of five to 19 should see their Optometrist at least once a year to identify any vision changes that may impact their ability to play sports and learn properly.