Preparing For Your Child’s First Eye Exam
From the moment your baby is born, they are constantly growing and developing—and so is their vision!
Schedule Your Child’s First Visit Early!
The American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association recommends babies receive their first comprehensive visual assessment at six months of age. Having your child’s eyes examined so early will ensure their visual development is on track and can help identify any problems that may be present. As a bonus, the doctors at Vision Source Mandan participate in the InfantSEE program; which means your child’s first vision check is at no cost!
Your child’s optometrist may suggest you schedule their visit before their six month mark if they show certain risk factors including:
- prematurity, low birth weight, or low oxygen levels at birth
- family history of visual problems such congenital cataracts, retinoblastoma, or metabolic or genetic disease
- strabismus or crossed eyes
If you believe your child has any of these risk factors, talk with your optometrist about when you should schedule their first eye exam.
What Happens During Their Visit?
By the time your child is six months old, their sight should be fairly well developed in terms of their ability to focus, see color, and judge depth. It will continue to progress as they get older, but assessing their vision at this stage ensures their vision is clear and healthy so they can hit important developmental milestones such as building fine motor skills.
Check out the video below to get a glimpse at how your baby sees the world!
[iframe https://www.youtube.com/embed/T0rrS51ry2s?rel=0 620 349]
When examining your infant’s eyes, we look for:
- Pupil response—Evaluating the eye’s pupil responds appropriately to light exposure.
- Fixation and following—This includes testing eye tracking skills and evaluating their ability to fixate on objects presented to them.
- Preferential looking—This method allows us to measure visual acuity without the need of a traditional eye chart.
- Refractive Error – We will be able to get an accurate estimate of your child’s eyeglasses prescription.
- Ocular Health – We will dilate your baby’s eyes in order to view the internal ocular
Your child’s first visit isn’t just a time to examine their vision—it’s an excellent opportunity for parents to ask questions as well! We’re happy to provide any information you need, whether you’re curious about your baby’s developing eyes or you’d like to learn about ways to stimulate their vision as they grow.
We’re Here For Your Family Every Step Of The Way
Welcoming a new member of your family into the world brings a wealth of joy and a host of questions to go along with it. If you are curious about anything we’ve mentioned or have additional questions about your baby’s vision, let us know! We are committed to providing you with the information you need to give your child a happy and healthy start in life.