Meet Our Pediatric Optometrist: Dr. Julie Phan
What are the signs in children that may indicate a vision problem?
According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have eye or vision problems. However, young children generally may not understand the way they see is not normal and will not voice complaints about their eyes.
- Sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
- Frequent eye rubbing or squinting
- Double vision, an inward or outward turning of an eye, or closing an eye to see clearly
- Tilting or turning their head
- Reading difficulties
- Losing their place while reading or using a finger to guide their reading
- Notices words “swimming” on the page
- Enlarging print size to see clearly
- Avoiding reading or school work
When should your children get eye exams?
According to the American Optometric Association:
- Between the ages of 6 months and 12 months
- Between the ages of 3 and 5 years old
- Before first grade
It is important for children with developmental delays to get seen annually or as directed by your eye specialist.
What to expect at your child’s eye exam?
Our trained technicians will take several measurements and pictures of the eyes, ask about your child’s ocular and medical history, and obtain information regarding any concerns you may have regarding your child’s vision before the examination.
The provider will check for the need for glasses, amblyopia or “lazy eye,” proper eye movement, how well the eyes work together, how the eyes react to light, and look at their ocular health.
Depending on the concerns and signs during the examination, your provider may opt to use dilation eye drops to better assess the need for glasses and ocular health.
How are children’s eye exams performed before they can read?
Young children may not voice complaints or speak during an eye exam and that is okay!
There are several eye tests used on young children to obtain information in case a child is shy or does not speak in order to examine their eyes. Some methods to determine what they see in their world may include matching shapes, pointing at stripes, following a toy with their eyes, or looking at a light. The provider may use engaging videos and a light to keep their attention while your child looks through different sets of lenses in order to determine the need for glasses and their eye health.