How To Overcome Kids' Anxiety About Eye Exams

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Eye Health For All Eye health is about more than the ability to see. It is also about maintaining a healthy pressure inside your eye. It's about making sure issues like ocular cancer are detected early so they can be treated. You rely on your eyes almost every minute of every day, so of course you want to take eye health seriously — every aspect of it. You can learn more about the breadth of eye care and the work of optometrists on this blog. Reading here is not a replacement for seeing your optometrist, but it can be a good way to boost your knowledge.



Contrary to popular belief, reading and playing video games do not cause eye damage. However, kids may need glasses based on their genetic predisposition to nearsightedness or farsightedness. Taking your child to the eye doctor periodically throughout their childhood can help you catch their need for glasses early, so your child doesn't have to suffer from low visual acuity. Some kids may be nervous about going to the eye doctor for the first time. Here are some ways to put your child at ease before their first eye doctor appointment:

1. Choose an eye doctor that specializes in helping children.

Many eye doctors help patients of all ages, including children. However, young children may feel more at ease seeing an eye doctor who specializes in pediatric care. Eye doctors who primarily treat children may have fun, child-friendly offices with plenty of things to distract kids from their anxiety.

2. Bring your child's favorite pair of sunglasses to the eye doctor's office.

During the course of your child's eye exam, their eye doctor will test their visual acuity using a series of lenses and charts. The visual acuity test will determine whether or not your child requires corrective lenses. However, their eye doctor will also administer tests designed to check for eye diseases that can compromise vision and eye health.

One such test requires the eye doctor to administer eye drops that dilate the patient's pupils so eye doctors can examine the back of their eyes. The medication used for this exam typically lasts for several hours. Immediately after the test, your child's eyes will be more sensitive to light than usual, so it's a good idea to bring your child's favorite pair of sunglasses for them to wear home from the eye doctor's office.

3. Ask your child's eye doctor to explain the various eye tests and tools to your child.

Eye exams feature many unusual tools and machines that are used to test eye health. Some of these tools are handheld and used to magnify the eyes or shine a light to help eye doctors see. Other tools may test your child's ability to focus their eyes or use their peripheral vision. Some of these machines can do surprising things, such as blowing a puff of air at your child's eyes. You can ask your child's eye doctor to thoroughly explain each test before beginning, so your child knows what to expect.

For more ideas, contact an optometrist in your area such as Northwest Ophthalmology.

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