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What To Expect During Your Visit

The type of eye examination depends on the age of your child. But no matter the age of your child, Dr. Stathacopolous will walk you through the entire eye examination, providing information on each eye test she does for your child. Parents and guardians should expect a child's visit to last 90 minutes to two hours.

In general, parents should expect the following during a child's visit:

  1. The doctor or staff will record the history of any eye problems, as well as family and past medical history.
  2. The doctor will check the child's vision by having them either follow a toy with their eye or reading letters or pictures off of an eye chart.
  3. The doctor will examine the anterior surface of the eye, eye alignment, and eye movement.
  4. In order to determine the strength (refractive power) of the eye, and examine the back of the eye, it's necessary to dilate the eye. In young children, it is impossible to perform a complete eye exam without dilating the eye. A few eye drops in each eye is all that is needed. This will likely cause a light stinging sensation, but our staff is skilled at administering eye drops in children of all ages. With a parent's consent, we will even offer a treat to the child afterward.
  5. There is typically a 45-minute waiting period after the drops are administered to allow the drops to dilate the eyes and stop the focusing muscles from working.
  6. The patient will then be taken back to the exam room, where the doctor will check the eye for eye strength and check the back of the eye with a light to check the retina and optic nerve.

How do we measure a baby’s eye prescription?

Babies can’t read an eye chart and they can’t tell us what they can or can’t see. But the eye lens transmits light both ways, and once the eye is dilated, the doctor will be able to shine a light into the eye with a special instrument called a retinoscope. This creates a red reflection coming out of the eye, similar to the redeye effect from a flash camera photo. The doctor can then put lenses in front of the reflection to focus and optimize the red reflection. Using this information, we can calculate the baby’s prescription for eyeglasses. While it’s rare for infants to need glasses, it may be necessary in special medical situations.

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