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: (904) 697-3600
- 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
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- 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
At Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville, our pediatric eye care clinic is one of two sites selected by the Children’s Eye Foundation for the national "See by Three" Vision Screening Program.
We're Totally Focused on Your Child's Healthy Vision
Expertise in treating a wide range of pediatric eye problems has made Nemours Eye Care Clinic a regional pediatric ophthalmology referral site for families from Daytona, Tallahassee, South Georgia and elsewhere. Our staff includes four pediatric ophthalmologists, a pediatric optometrist, and experienced eye technicians.
Our clinic features:
- special child-friendly diagnostic equipment
- exam rooms designed to allow for pediatric eye exams
- a pediatric optometry room for contact lens fittings where we teach kids how to use and take care of their contacts
But most of all, we have people who know kids and how to make them feel at ease. This experience helps us be able to do a quality pediatric eye exam even in the youngest children and babies, which can lead to more accurate diagnoses.
Early Pediatric Eye Exams Are Critical to the Visual Health of Children
Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists have developed a special training program for primary care doctors on how to conduct effective pediatric eye exams for children from birth to age five.
Our eye doctors have also developed a single-use sterile exam kit for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a serious eye disease that occurs primarily in premature infants and can lead to blindness. This kit, now used in over 31 states and 60 Neonatal Intensive Care Units across the country, makes ROP testing safer and reduces the chance of infection.
Whether it’s a complex pediatric eye problem, an eye injury, or straightforward vision correction, taking care of your child’s eyes is our mission — and our passion.
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 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)