When I was a young optometrist over 30 years ago we used to recommend age 3 for a first eye examination unless parents had a specific eye or vision concern. A few years ago the Ontario Association of Optometrists changed their recommendations to a first eye exam at 6-9 months and then a first full exam at age 3 and yearly thereafter.
The reason for checking your baby’s eyes at 6-9 months of age is to pick up large amounts of hyperopia, myopia or astigmatism particularly in only one eye where a parent wouldn’t notice it because the other eye sees well. Eye turns (strabismus) and congenital issues like cataracts or retinoblastoma can also be picked up. But thankfully, the well baby exam is usually a quick and easy way to be assured that your baby’s eyes and vision are developing normally.
At Pierce Family Vision we have worked hard to update our equipment (like the Spot handheld autorefractor) and our optometrists’ expertise to make sure our baby and children’s eye exams are comprehensive but also easy and fun for both children and parents. Babies love looking at all our lights and our flashing and spinning fixation targets to hold their attention while we get the information we need.
Older children love to start with a ride in the chair and the pictures for visual acuity and colour vision testing are fun and easy! The “magic” 3D glasses to measure stereoacuity are always a hit and give us lots of information about how the eyes work together.
So give us a call and let us check your baby or child’s eyes and vision. Summer holiday is a perfect time to come and visit us!
Dr. Patti Ellison