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A Letter to Parents: What to Expect at your Child’s Eye Exam

If you’ve never had your child’s eyes examined or it’s been a while, EYEcenter’s own Dr. Meagan Herring wrote a letter to let you know what you can expect at your child’s next (or first) eye exam…

Dear Parent,

I know you are curious about your child’s first eye exam. Here is what will take place:

I will introduce myself as Dr. Herring, then welcome you and your child into my exam room. I’ll ask if you have any concerns regarding their eyes or vision that you’d like addressed today and we’ll chat about it for a few minutes.

I will ask about their eye and overall health history, including any medications, allergies. family medical and eye histories, so bring any old pairs of glasses they’ve worn in the past.

Then, we will discuss their developmental and educational milestones, as well as any daily habits including digital device use and amount of time spent doing near work.

I will also ask you whether they get enough water, sleep and outdoor play time, in addition to their nutritional patterns. It is my job as a primary care provider to inquire and discuss these aspects of your child’s health as they can each affect their visual system and overall eye health.

I will then begin with my assessment of their visual system by checking both near and far acuities and perform a few preliminary tests. These “games” include assessment of their eye movements, tracking patterns and natural postures, ability to focus, peripheral vision, pupillary assessment, color vision and depth perception.

I may then perform what’s called an ‘objective refraction’ behind the phoropter depending on their age. You know the piece of equipment I’m referring to – the bulky, outer space-like contraption? The phoropter will be placed in front of your child’s face to determine whether a refractive error exists.

I will do this by shining a light from a black, rod-like instrument called a retinoscope in their eyes while turning dials on the phoropter, all the while encouraging your child to sit still and stare at a large letter on a screen across the room.

Your child can sit still, right?

That’s when the fun begins. Depending on how active your child is, my time is limited or I will lose their attention and focus. I also get to decode what your child’s responses mean as I present lens options to them, while encouraging them further down the eye chart to the 20/20 line, (which, by the way, refers to what an average person sees at 20 feet as being the same size object that your child can see at 20 feet.)

By then, I will have a pretty good idea of whether or not your child may need glasses.

Up next, I will assess their binocular vision status, (how well their eyes work together), through the phoropter. Did you know that some children’s difficulties in school can be attributed to poor vision or eye teaming skills?

I will then move on to the health evaluation part of the exam and look at their eyes under a giant microscope called a slit lamp. I can tell identify any ocular allergies, blepharitis or dry eyes. I may need your help holding their head firmly in place and can even show you their eyes through the slit lamp if you are interested.

Dilation of their pupils comes next, and I will do this by gently instilling drops into their eyes. Don’t worry, I have a few tricks up my sleeve, including ‘magic drops’ and the ‘closed eye’ method. They don’t hurt but will make their eyes feel numb for a few minutes and blurry for a few hours after the exam.

Oh, and please don’t ask if this is necessary because they have soccer practice right after the exam or you will probably have to bring them back to finish their exam. Although I am a fan of the retinal photos you had taken at the beginning of the exam, they do not substitute the dilation, in your child’s case. This is because I perform a stronger dilation (aka cycloplegic dilation) necessary for me to fully assess their visual system and finalize their prescription.

You may choose to wait in the waiting area, or try on frames while your child’s eyes dilate. I will call him or her back in 15-20 minutes.

After your child’s eyes are blurry and the pupils are the size of dimes, it’s time for part 2 of the exam, where I will repeat the “better 1, or 2?” test.

I will then have the data I need to recommend or not to recommend glasses, patching or vision therapy.

Onto the final health assessment, where I will take one last look through the giant microscope at the back of their eyes with a small lens. I am not expecting to find anything, but am trained to look for congenital abnormalities, retinal holes or tears and cancerous tumors. I finalize this part with a larger lens and a science-y looking contraption on my head. Very fancy.

And that will conclude your child’s total eye check. I will go over any treatment recommendations and we will discuss any questions you have before making their personalized eye care plan.

Of course, we save the best for last as your child will receive a pair of ever-fashionable, disposable dark-out shades as you leave. And maybe a sticker 😉

Thank you for entrusting me in the care of your child’s eye health.

Sincerely,

Dr. Meagan

Reproduced with permission originally published in https://www.mindfuloptometrist.com/post/a-letter-to-parents-what-to-expect-at-your-child-s-eye-exam

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Herring

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Sacramento, California. Visit EYEcenter optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Why We Use RightEye for Vision Therapy at EYEcenter Optometric

See how RightEye can improve the way you live your life!

Our EYEcenter Optometric team is excited to join forces with RightEye to better evaluate, diagnose, and define visual processing problems in our patients of all ages. RightEye is a breakthrough technology that uses computer-based eye tracking software and equipment to identify muscle imbalances and assess eye movement.

Why is this information important? Because even if you think you see perfectly, you could still suffer from various eye health and visual performance issues that could benefit from vision therapy; your involuntary eye movements can be a strong indicator of these issues.

“Vision is more than 20/20 eyesight,” says Palmer N. Lee, O.D.. “Without vision, our balance, hand-eye coordination, reading comprehension, ability to drive, catch a ball—it’s all compromised. RightEye is an opportunity for patients to transform how they lead their lives and doctors to transform how they run their practices. And all it takes is minutes.”

Within mere minutes, RightEye can give our optometrists a wide, objective, and quantitative view of your overall visual health. Using this cutting-edge diagnostic tool, we will custom-design the most helpful vision therapy sessions possible to treat your vision condition.

Introducing RightEye

Our EYEcenter Optometric eye doctors can’t wait to introduce you to this state-of-the-art device!

“RightEye is computer-based eye-tracking software and equipment,” explains Palmer N. Lee, O.D.. “At EYEcenter Optometric, we use it to detect muscle imbalances and diagnose how the eyes are tracking.”

The RightEye system is an all-inclusive solution for testing visual function by tracking eye movements and relating them to various health issues. It captures pictures of eye movements 30-250 times per second! It is a compact unit, about the size of a laptop, and it can be operated with ease by all members of our optometry team.

RightEye records your eye movements and compares them simultaneously with a large cross-section of society to detect or rule out any problematic eye conditions. It can indicate visual problems related to brain health, reading, or sports performance. The non-invasive test takes only five minutes and provides immediate results.

How RightEye vision tests can be used

Eye tracking tests by RightEye can provide significant information to identify issues with functional vision. For example, it can:

  • Provide baseline concussion tests
  • Monitor eye movements to identify health and vision conditions
  • Improve athletic performance by pinpointing vision strengths and weaknesses
  • Track the effects of vision treatment and recovery
  • Identify the early signs of Parkinson’s disease and autism
  • Detect binocular vision problems that interfere with reading and learning

RightEye = A proven tool for optimizing vision & your life

As the first commercialized eye-tracking solution for your overall well-being, RightEye has demonstrated success when applied for optometry, medicine, and sports. At EYEcenter Optometric, our highly qualified optometrists and vision therapy professionals use RightEye to uncover troublesome issues with functional vision and brain health. Armed with this information, we will design the best customized treatment to transform your vision and radically upgrade how you live your life!


At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

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