Eye Exams

Doctor performing a pediatric eye exam on a young girl

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.

Read More About Pediatric Eye Exams
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).

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

What to Bring
  • 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
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    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.

See a List of Diagnostic Pediatric Eye Exams
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
may include:

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.

Ocular ultrasonography

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.