Eye exams may have their place in your family’s vision health, but only a pediatric ophthalmologist is trained to treat children, and provide thorough pediatric eye exams. At Nemours, we focus on children and know how to ease a child’s fears and can help those with a developmental disorder (e.g., autism) through pediatric eye exams for the best possible diagnostic result.
When Should Your Child Have a First Eye Exam?
Nemours' pediatric ophthalmologists encourage early screenings by your child’s primary care doctor at the newborn visit and at all well child visits.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) all recommend that your child's eyes be examined at timely intervals.
Why? Because pediatric eye exams result in early detection and treatment of eye disorders leading to more successful treatment outcomes and protecting your child's vision.
How Can We Tell What Your Child Sees?
Many parents wonder: How do you check vision in kids during pediatric eye exams who are too young to recognize the letters on the chart — or talk?
Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists often perform comprehensive pediatric eye exams on very young children and infants.
Our pediatric eye specialists use accurate picture eye charts and child-specific techniques, such as Teller Acuity Cards, which test an infant or young child's visual perception without requiring knowledge of letters or even a verbal response.
We can evaluate a child’s vision for alignment, eye movements, and structure. Pediatric eye exams also include retinoscopy and autorefraction, which are tests that can objectively measure the refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism).
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Nemours Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology's expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric eye problems and injuries draws patients and their families from around the country and the world to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Nemours Pediatric Ophthalmology: Care That's Truly Compassionate
When you bring your child to our Division of Pediatric Ophthalmology, you will find that our eye care team takes the time to explain each step of pediatric eye exams (e.g., how eye drops work and feel) and do all they can to help you and your child feel comfortable.
Pediatric Eye Exams Using Equipment Just for Kids
Using the latest diagnostic techniques and equipment adapted just for children, we provide comprehensive in-office pediatric eye exams that
Retinal and eye photography
By taking a digital image of the back of the eye, we are able to examine parts of the retina in a way that's not possible with conventional instruments. This allows us to detect problems and monitor the retina for any signs of damage that could result in vision reduction or loss.
Visual field testing
Assessing your child’s field of vision can help determine whether he or she has problems with peripheral, or side vision, which can sometimes be an indicator of eye diseases such as glaucoma.
An ultrasound that produces a 2-D image of the eye and its surrounding tissues can show any growths or other structural abnormalities. If a more in-depth study is needed, a CT scan or MRI may also be ordered.
Electroretinogram (ERG) Study
This test is used to diagnose and monitor hereditary and ischemic (due to inadequate oxygen) retinal disorders, before or after the child is symptomatic. The test helps in the diagnosis of:
- Retinal Dystrophy
- Retinitis Pigmentosa (a group of hereditary diseases of the retina)
- Usher Syndrome (a combination of hearing loss and retinitis pigmentosa)
- Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (a severe abnormality of the retina present from birth)
- Stationary Night Blinding Disorders
- Best Disease (a progressive form of macular [central point of the retina] dystrophy)
Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) Studies
A specialized electroencephalogram used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the brain.
VEP Studies help diagnose and monitor optic nerve disorders, visual acuity problems and other medical conditions that affect the eyes like:
- Optic Neuritis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Compressive Optic Neuropathy
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Unexplained Visual Acuity Loss
Specialized Training in Pediatric Ophthalmology
Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists (meaning they've completed a residency in pediatric ophthalmology and are trained specifically in pediatric eye problems) offer comprehensive eye examinations and testing in order to diagnose and treat infant, childhood, and adolescent eye disorders. And, if needed, they have the skill and experience to perform pediatric eye surgery.