Did you know that a basic vision screening can miss up to one-third of children with a vision or eye disorder? Untreated and undetected eye disorders like strabismus and amblyopia can become learning barriers. They result in poor reading habits and dismal outcomes in school. A comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor can help identify these conditions early.
Early treatment of these conditions can result in reversing their effects on children. It will positively impact the learning and development of your child so they can enjoy school activities, and their peers will not leave them behind.
During an InfantSEE® exam, the eye doctor will cover several factors, including:
The first step during the comprehensive vision exam will be to cover the child's family history. The purpose of a thorough history is that many eye conditions are hereditary. A thorough patient history for a child may include several pertinent questions.
Is there a history of family eye conditions like congenital cataracts, retinoblastoma, or genetic or metabolic diseases?
Was the mother infected during pregnancy by toxoplasmosis or rubella, among others, or did they have alcohol or drug use during pregnancy?
Did the mother have STDs during pregnancy like HIV or cytomegalovirus?
Did the mother have difficult or assisted labor? These are associated with low Apgar scores or fetal distress.
Infants and toddlers cannot participate in conventional chart testing because it requires the identification of letters. So, the eye doctor will test visual acuity by observing whether the infant can fix their eyes on an object. They will experiment with a stationary and/or moving object as well. Also, they will assess whether the child can focus at varying distances.
The eye doctor may utilize a small handheld device to shine light through lenses to test the responsivity of the eye. They may do this test again after using eye drops to dilate the eye. Dilation will enlarge the pupil and stabilize the focus of the child. Alternatively, the eye doctor can use photographic testing to analyze the reflex of the pupil in the photo.
Commonly, infants have some amount of myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. These, however, do not require correcting. A study suggests that 30 to 50 percent of children below 12 months have astigmatism. This astigmatism reduces as they age, stabilizing between two-and-a-half and five years.
The eye doctor will gather information about acuity and the eye muscles by covering one eye at a time. It is essential in the identification of strabismus and potentially amblyopia. The presence of strabismus also correlates with the presence of other eye conditions.
The eye doctor will run a thorough exam on the structure of the eye. They will examine the tear ducts, eyelids, and other parts around the eye. Then, they will check the functionality of the pupil and the response to peripheral information. Finally, the posterior portion of the eye will be examined, usually through a dilated pupil.
For more on the InfantSEE vision exam, call Clarendon Vision Development Center at (630) 323-7300 to reach our office in Westmont, Illinois.