What to expect


During your child’s examination in the office, our goal is to assess the quality of your child’s vision. In order to gauge the overall quality of vision, we test your child’s visual acuity, the possible need for glasses, the ability to coordinate both eyes together, and the health of the ocular anatomy.

The doctor or doctor’s assistant will call the family into the examination room. The assistant will start the examination by taking a history. Usually, the parent will need to provide most of the details, but many children can provide valuable information as well. During the exam, most children over three can sit in the examination chairs by themselves, but lap-sitting with parents is always welcome.

As the examination begins, 3-D glasses are used to assess binocular vision. Visual acuity is tested by having your child look at either pictures, numbers, or letters. Vision can be assessed in pre-verbal children by utilizing many of the toys and targets present in the room. A variety of instruments are then used to check the external health of the eye.

Halftime, or intermission, occurs next as your child will require dilating drops to be placed in the eyes. The reason dilating drops are required is to check the internal anatomy of the eye, as well as to more accurately assess how hard the eyes are working to see. Dilating drops often take 20-40 minutes to work, and children are welcome to play in our waiting room at that time. They will notice their vision will temporarily become blurry and they will become light-sensitive as the drops take effect.

After your child’s pupils are dilated, you will be called into the room again. At this point, an exam to determine the need for glasses will take place and the doctor will examine the back of the eye to make sure all the anatomy looks healthy. Your child may or may not need to read some more pictures, numbers or letters. The doctor uses a variety of results from the examination to decide whether or not glasses are required.

At the conclusion of the examination, the doctor will make the final recommendations for treatment. If glasses are required, an eyeglass prescription will be given to you. We have an in-house optical, Children’s Eyewear, that would be happy to help your child find the appropriate fitting glasses, or we can give you a list of optical shops in the area that have received great reviews from our patients.

We realize the comfort level of children will vary from patient to patient, and from visit to visit, so a glasses prescription is never made solely on the responses from children made during the examination.

After the examination is over, your child may go back to school. We will provide the school with an excuse. We do not advise going to play in direct sunlight for 2 hours after the examination.  You can expect the dilating drops to wear off over approximately 2-4 hours.