Fyeyes   Eye Care

When Should Kids Get Their First Eye Exam?


6-9 Months Of Age

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

Why is an exam needed if my child does is not exhibiting eye health vision problems?

Many vision and eye health disorders have no symptoms, and can only be detected through a comprehensive child eye exam. Even if children are experiencing symptoms, they may not realize it, because they assume the way their world looks is normal!

Why is an exam needed when a physician has already established my child has 20/20 vision?

This is possibly the biggest misconception about vision and eye health. While a 20/20 vision score is great, it does not mean that your child has all of the vision skills required for healthy learning and development. Comprehensive eye exams do so much more than determine if a child sees well. They also enable your optometrist diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and disorders affecting the eyes and visual systems.

Do children need to be verbal and know their ABCs before having an eye exam?

No, it’s recommended that children have their first comprehensive eye exam at just six months of age. Your optometrist usually uses object techniques such as shapes and pictures to determine your child’s focusing characteristics. They will also assess your child’s eye health and vision.

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

Until age 12, 80% of early learning is visual. Children who have poor vision often find it difficult to focus on their work, and may even be misdiagnosed with a learning or behavioural disability. Up to 60 per cent of children who are diagnosed with learning disabilities actually have undetected vision problems.

What is the cost of a child eye exam?

Alberta Health Care covers the cost of annual comprehensive eye examinations for all children, until they turn 19. All Albertans are also covered for any medically necessary exams, such as red eyes, eye infection, and injury or inflammation of the eye and eyelid. Please consult the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan for more information on the optometric services covered.

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