Eye-deology Vision Care: Edmonton Optometrists, Opticians and Eyewear

Child Eye Exams: Important For Early Development

Child eye exams are one of the specialized and personalized eye care services we provide. They are essential because for the first 12 years of a child’s life, 80 percent of learning is visual and because vision problems can interfere with the ability of children to learn during their first critical years in school. Schedule an eye exam for your child today with us today and you will be certain to see how, and why, our eye exams are considered to be one of the most thorough, comprehensive, advanced and personalized available.

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The tests and scans included in a child's eye exam depend on your child's age. At eye-deology Vision Care, we strive to perform as many tests and scans as our adult comprehensive eye examsbut are mindful that doing so may not be possible. In general, a child eye exam will include a case history, refraction, testing of eye alignment and coordination, an eye health evaluation and, if needed, prescription eyewear. A child is not required to know their ABCs or 123s to receive an eye exam. eye-deology Vision Care optometrists use shapes and lights and state-of-the-art portal imaging equipment for our young patients unable to be tested by our standard diagnostic equipment.

A child is not required to know their ABCs or 123s to receive an eye exam. eye-deology Vision Care optometrists optometrists use shapes and lights and state-of-the-art portal imaging equipment for our young patients unable to be tested by our standard diagnostic equipment.

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Child Eye Exams

Children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. They should then have their eyes examined annually, especially when they are of school-age, even if no vision correction is required. This because vision and corrective needs can change or fluctuate as they grow. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should have their eyes examined annually or as recommended by their eye doctor.

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Be sure to tell the eye doctor if your child has or displays any of the following:

  • A history of prematurity
  • Delayed motor development
  • Frequent or excessive eye rubbing
  • Excessive or irregular blinking
  • Challenged to maintain eye contact
  • Poor eye tracking skills
  • Has failed a vision screening at school or with a pediatrician
  • Previous eye problems and treatments
Schedule A Child Eye Exam
Child Eye Exams

In Alberta, child exams are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). Children 18 years old and under, and seniors 65 years and older are eligible for one complete eye exam, one partial exam and one diagnostic procedure per benefit year (July 1 to June 30). This healthcare benefit makes taking care of your children and ensuring that they have a bright future considerably easier.

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Why is it important for my child to have an eye exam before starting school?

  • In Alberta, 1 in 4 (i.e., 25%) of children begin grade one with an undiagnosed vision or eye health problem.
  • Vision problems can challenge early learning, especially during their first years of school.
  • 80 per cent of learning is visual for the first 12 years of a child’s life, so healthy, clear vision is critical.
  • Good grades are a product of good vision!

When should my child have their first comprehensive eye exam?

  • The Alberta Association of Optometrists recommends children have their first comprehensive eye exam between six and nine months of age.

Do children need to know their ABCs and 123s before having an eye exam?

  • No, it is recommended that children have their first comprehensive eye exam at just six months of age.
  • For preschool children, optometrists typically uses objective techniques such as shapes and pictures to determine focusing characteristics. They will also assess your child’s eye health and vision.
  • eye-deology Vision Care possesses a state-of-the-art handheld autorefractor and eye imager that enables evaluations of even the youngest and most active children.

What is the cost of a child eye exam in Edmonton?

  • Alberta Health Care covers the cost of annual comprehensive eye examinations for all children (that are residents of Alberta), until they turn 19.
  • All Albertans are also covered for any medically necessary exams, such as red eyes, eye infection, injury or inflammation of the eye and eyelid.
  • An Alberta Health Card must be provided for health care services to be covered by Alberta Health Care.

What issues can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam?

  • Refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, can all be corrected with eyeglasses.
  • Lazy eye (amblyopia)is weak or low vision in one eye that results from an uncorrected prescription during the early years of development. It is the leading cause of preventable vision loss. If detected and treated early, before the age of six, it will often resolve completely.
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus) is when an eye turns in or out. It is a muscle condition in which a child’s eyes are not in alignment with each other. Coordination of a child’s eyes and their ability to work together begins to develop in infancy. A child will not outgrow strabismus without treatment; in fact, the condition may become worse. The brain eventually disregards the image from one eye to avoid double-vision, which in turn causes vision loss.
  • Eye coordination is the ability of both eyes to work together as a team. Good eye coordination keeps the eyes in proper alignment, but a minor misalignment of your child’s eyes can cause symptoms like double vision, fatigue and headaches.

Why would I not know if my child has a vision or eye health problem?

  • Many vision and eye health conditions have no symptoms and can only be detected through an optometrist-performed comprehensive eye exam.
  • Even if children are experiencing symptoms, they may not realize it because they assume the way their world looks is "normal".

How can a vision problem affect a child’s ability to learn?

  • Children who have poor vision often find it challenging to focus on their work. In many cases, they are misdiagnosed with a learning or behavioural disability.
  • Up to 60 percent of children who are initially diagnosed with learning disabilities have undetected vision problems.
  • Corrective eyewear and vision therapy are often needed to address childhood vision issues..

Why should we see an optometrist when my family physician has already determined that my child has 20/20 vision?

  • The difference between vision and eye health is perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of optometry and eye care. Vision and eye health are related, but not the same.
  • While a 20/20 vision score is impressive, it does not necessarily mean that your child possesses all of the vision skills required for healthy learning and development.
  • The purpose of comprehensive eye exams is to do considerably more than determine if a child sees well. They also help Doctors of Optometry diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and disorders affecting the eyes and visual systems.

Why should we see an optometrist when my child received a sight test a school?

  • A sight test is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam.
  • Only a trained and licensed professional doctor of optometry or ophthalmology can perform a comprehensive eye exam. Optometrists and ophthalmologists have the education, training, and knowledge to examine, diagnose, treat, manage, and help prevent diseases and disorders affecting the visual system, the eye and related structures, check an individual’s prescription, and prescribe eyewear.

Does Alberta Have A Child Eyewear Program?

  • Alberta Health Care covers the cost of comprehensive eye exams for all resident children until they turn 19.
  • The provincial Eye See…Eye Learn program supplements that coverage by providing free eyeglasses to kindergarten-aged children who require a prescription. Learn more about Eye See...Eye Learn here.
  • The program is administered by the Alberta Association of Optometrists. Children’s eye exams are funded by Alberta Health, and the free eyeglasses, lenses and cases are provided by partners of the Alberta Association of Optometrists.
  • You do not need to complete a form. Just book an appointment with your doctor of optometry and tell them you want to participate in the Eye See...Eye Learn program.

Who is eligible for the Eye See…Eye Learn Program?

  • Kindergarten students are eligible to participate in the program from September until they begin grade one.

Do the eyeglasses made available through the Eye See…Eye Learn program have to be my child’s first pair of glasses?

  • No, it does not have to be the child’s first pair of glasses.

What does my child receive through the Eye See…Eye Learn program?

  • Your child will receive a comprehensive eye exam, which is covered by Alberta Health Care.
  • If your child is in kindergarten and requires prescription eyewear, they will also receive a free pair of eyeglasses, as prescribed by a Doctor of Optometry. The glasses are covered by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.


Searching for an Edmonton optometrist? Our experienced Edmonton eye doctors use advanced modern technologies and devote upwards of 500% more time towards providing personalized patient care than elsewhere so that they can see more and ensure that you may never see less. Position yourself to see the future today with Edmonton's best eye care!

Doctor Jennifer Ash, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Jennifer Ash is the Resident Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Ash provides patient care 5 days a week. Read more about Dr. Ash.

Doctor Sarah Virji, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Sarah Virji is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Virji regularly provides patient care Thursdays and Saturdays. Read more about Dr. Virji.

Doctor Ruhee Kurji, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Ruhee Kurji is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. Kurji provides patient care Tuesdays & Fridays. Read more about Dr. Kurji.

Doctor Jade McLachlin, Eye Doctor (Edmonton)

Dr. Jade McLachlin is an Associate Optometrist at Eye-deology Vision Care. Dr. McLachlin provides patient care 5 days a week. Read more about Dr. McLachlin.

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