The American Optometric Association recommends our children be examined from the time they are six months to twelve months of age and again by the time they turn three years of age, and again before they begin school. Dr. McBryar sees a lot of children who have never had a comprehensive eye exam. In her intake form, there is a question that asks if your child has had a comprehensive eye exam, and many parents will check 'yes'; however, upon further probing, it is discovered that what they have had is a screening at the pediatrician's office.

What are vision screenings?

The purpose of vision screening is to identify children with visual impairments or eye conditions that are likely to result in vision loss in order to refer them to an appropriate eye care professional for further evaluation and treatment. The screenings are important, as they help eye care providers identify if a child needs glasses or if any gross abnormalities exist in their eyes. However, according to the American Optometric Association, screenings only assess 4% of a comprehensive eye exam and miss 75% of children with vision problems.

What is the purpose of a comprehensive eye exam?

A comprehensive eye exam should include an assessment of your child's ocular health and their refractive status. They should also be assessed for their binocular vision, which means whether or not they have the ability to use both eyes together, and their ocular motility, which includes the eye movements needed for reading, as well as their accommodative or focusing ability, which determines whether they are able to see clearly when they are reading. Therefore, if you have a child who is school-aged and they have not had a comprehensive eye examination yet, you should definitely schedule one for them.

Eye exams for children in preschool (2 to 5 years)

It is during this stage that children are learning how to draw, color, cut paper, stack blocks, play with balls, and build with lego. A comprehensive exam for children in preschool will usually consist of the following tests:

  • Visual acuity
  • Lazy eye
  • Stereopsis (3D vision)
  • Eye tracking
  • Convergence
  • Color vision
  • Ocular health

Chattanooga’s Pediatric Optometrist

Our pediatric vision specialty clinic is a fun and mission focused clinic located in Hixson just outside of Chattanooga. Dr. Heather McBryar is passionate about helping kids improve their school and athletic performance. Her professional credentials include Diplomate At the American Board of Optometry and Fellow at the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. We look forward to seeing your child soon!

Schedule an appointment for a pediatric eye exam at our state-of-the-art optometry clinic in Hixson, serving patients from the surrounding areas including Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Middle Valley. Call (423) 321-8233 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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