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When Should My Child Get Their First Eye Exam?

New parents often ask me this question and are very surprised by my response. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends infants get their vision checked between 6 and 12 months. Before 1 year old?? YES that is not a typo. Although eye problems in infants are rare, if they are caught early they are easier to treat.

An infant eye exam is obviously much different than your standard eye exam. When checking infants eyes we check for proper movement of the eyes, proper eye alignment, and their refractive error (aka prescription). Most babies are born farsighted and we can measure this by shining a light into their eye and measuring how their eye bends the light. It is not common for babies to need glasses but if they have a very high prescription, if their eyes are very different, or they have an eye turn glasses may be prescribed. We also check the health of the inside of the eyes to make sure there are no health abnormalities noted.

In some cases we will need to put special drops in the eyes to get a better measurement of their refractive error and eye health.

If you have a young child or grandchild make sure they get their eyes checked before one year of age! Alberta Healthcare covers eye exams for infants. If your baby has a medical concern related to their eyes (eye infection, eye turn, red eye etc) we are happy to see them at anytime. Dr Lim and I can prescribe treatment for eye infections and work closely with pediatric ophthalmologists if further assessment is needed. #geteyewise #childrensvision #firsteyeexam #tofield #6monthsold

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