What to Expect during your Child’s Vision Exam - 10/10/17
So your child has just performed poorly on a routine vision screening at the pediatrician’s office or at school, and you’ve been asked to make an appointment with an eye doctor, Dr. Lois Townshend. What should you expect during the appointment and how can you prepare your child for his or her examination? If this is your child’s first eye appointment, you will be asked to fill out paperwork. The forms can be accessed through our website, www.associatedeyesurgeons.com to be done at home, or filled out when you first arrive at the office. An adult, whose name is listed on the insurance, will also be required to provide a driver’s license and a valid health insurance card. Be sure to check with your insurance plan or primary care doctor to determine if you need a referral prior to being seen in our office.
An ophthalmic technician will bring you and your child in to the examining room where you will be asked a few questions about what has brought your child in to be seen, and for some basic medical information. Be sure to alert the technician to any questions you would like to ask Dr. Townshend, and any concerns you have about your child’s vision. The technician will also perform an initial examination of your child’s eyes and vision. If necessary, your child may have their eyes dilated in order to perform testing, and to allow Dr. Townshend to examine the retina, (the back of the eye). If you or anyone else has noticed a turn in your child’s eye, or if there is a family history of an eye turn, your doctor may wish to examine your child before the dilating drops are instilled.
The dilating drops will not harm your child, but may cause minimal discomfort for 10 seconds or less. The dilating drops make the pupils large for several hours, and will make vision a little blurry at close up range. On a sunny day, your child will be light sensitive, on the ride home, after being dilated. Dilation takes several minutes to take effect, so you will most likely return to the waiting room before being called in to see the doctor. Once the dilating drops have had a chance to work, your child may be asked to look into a specialized computer. This computer provides measurements and data that will be interpreted by Dr. Townshend during the exam. The computer will not touch or hurt, and will simply show your child an image that may appear blurry and then clear as the measurements are taken.
Your child is now ready to see Dr. Townshend. The doctor will look at the information gathered by the technician, and will perform a final examination herself. This examination may include testing your child’s ability to use both eyes together, checking for any eye turn, and assessing vision and data to see if your child needs glasses. If your child does need glasses Dr. Townshend will discuss with you how often the glasses should be worn. You will be provided with a prescription as you leave the office, and should take this prescription to an optical shop near your home to get the glasses made. If Dr. Townshend finds any other visual concerns, such as an eye turn, decreased vision in one eye, or eye health concerns this will be discussed with you during the appointment, and any treatment or follow-up will be recommended at that time.
It is our goal to make your child's experience as comfortable and as fun as possible while we collect the information we need for a full assessment. If you or family members have questions after the exam, give us a call. We always appreciate your input and feedback when it comes to the health of your family’s vision.