Keep Your Childs Vision Safe

children's eye exams lethbridge

The Importance of Regular Children’s Eye Exams

Early eye exams for children are very important to ensure normal vision development, and to determine whether your child has the visual acuity and skills needed for schoolwork and other physical activities.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), your child should have their first eye exam as early as 6 months and a routine checkup every 2 years after the age of 6.

(See: The AOA’s Recommended Eye Examination Frequency For Children)

Warning Signs of Children’s Vision Problems

Children are not always aware of what ‘normal’ vision looks like, so are unlikely to complain of any vision problems.

Because vision is so closely linked to the learning process and any undetected problems can lead to trouble with schoolwork, it’s important to be on the lookout for any signs that may indicate impaired vision.


  • Misaligned eyes (eyes which appear crossed, turn out or don’t focus together)
  • Constant eye rubbing
  • Eye discomfort, irritation or pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Excessive squinting
  • Tearing
  • Tilting of the head to see better
  • Sitting too close to the television or holding a book too close when reading

What Does a Children’s Eye Doctor Check For?

During a comprehensive children’s eye exam, our eye doctors will check for much more than a eyeglass prescription. They will also check for common eye diseases and other problems which could lead to vision loss.

Some of the common conditions the eye doctor will look for include:

  • Refractive Errors - This refers to vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Such problems can easily be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Amblyopia - Often referred to as lazy eye, this is a leading cause of blindness in children and is a result of abnormal vision development during infancy. Thankfully if amblyopia is detected early through an eye exam, it can be successfully treated using eye patches or eye drops.
  • Eye Coordination - Our eye doctors will check that your child’s eyes are correctly aligned and are working together successfully.
  • Other Diseases - During a comprehensive eye exam, our eye doctors will be able to detect early signs of ocular diseases such as glaucoma. In most cases, early diagnosis and treatment of such conditions can help reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Vision Screenings vs Complete Eye Exams

Vision screenings are limited eye tests which help identify which children are at risk of developing vision problems. These can be done by a pediatrician, school nurse or any other health care provider.

A comprehensive eye exam, on the other hand, includes in-depth testing of all aspects of your child’s vision. Only a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist can perform such a test.

These complete eye exams are very important as they can detect serious vision problems which are often missed during a vision screening.

To learn more about how we can help protect your child’s vision, book a complete eye exam today or contact our Lethbridge Eye Clinic at 403-327-4166.


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