Children's Eye Exam

Good eye health starts early in life – and our talented staff at Glendale Eye Doctors is experienced in helping children of all ages. Because many eye conditions and diseases can affect children’s vision, all children need routine eye exams.

Even if you don’t notice any eye problems in your child, it is important to have a medically-trained expert assess your child’s vision and eye health for underlying issues. Learn more about children’s eye exams and how our staff can help your child.

What To Expect At A Children’s Eye Exam?

Eye exams for children are much like adult eye exams. First, the doctor asks about your child’s health, including any eye problems, allergies, and other health conditions. Next, we test how well the eyes line up, move together and see objects at different distances.

The eye doctor places drops in your child’s eyes to dilate (open) the pupils. After 30 minutes, the doctor checks for vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. He or she also examines your child’s eyes to make sure they are healthy.

If your child’s eye doctor finds any vision problems or other eye conditions, you can discuss treatment options. If your child needs glasses, every Glendale Eye Doctors location has a full-service optical shop. The optician works directly with your child’s doctor to fill the prescription.

If you have questions during your eye exam, ask your doctor. Our Glendale Eye Doctors team is always be happy to help!

What eye tests will my child have? 
Your child’s eye exam will include:

  • Vision (Visual Acuity) Test – We test how well your child sees at different distances. If your child can read, we use the standard eye chart. If not, we use shapes or a single letter in different positions (called the “tumbling E” test). We also check your child’s depth perception.
  • Pupil Test – We check how your child’s eyes respond to light. The doctor shines a bright light in each eye for a moment to see if the pupil reacts normally.
  • Eye Movement Test – The doctor or eye technician moves a toy or finger in different directions to check how your child’s eyes follow it. We also check your child’s side (peripheral) vision.


How is my child’s eye exam done?

The doctor looks at the front part of the eyes, including the eyelids, cornea (clear covering over the front of the eye) and lens.

Next, drops are placed in your child’s eyes to widen (dilate) the pupil. This lets the doctor see the retina and optic nerve, which are at the back of the eye. The drops might sting, but just for a moment. Once the drops are in, you wait 30 to 40 minutes for the pupil to open up. Your child can play or do other activities while waiting. Finally, the doctor uses lights and lenses to examine the back of your child’s eye. Some of the lights are quite bright, but most children tolerate them well.

Your child’s vision will be blurry from the dilation, they may find it difficult to read and be sensitive to light. These effects of dilating are normal and can last anywhere from 12 – 24 hours.


What is refraction, and what do all the numbers mean?

Refraction is the part of an eye exam that determines how well your child sees at different distances, whether the eyes need help from glasses or contacts and how strong the prescription should be.

You probably have heard the phrase “20/20 vision.” This means you see an object 20 feet away normally. If you have 20/30 vision, you see the object as if it were 30 feet away.

If your child needs glasses or contacts, the numbers on the prescription tell the optician how much focusing power the lenses need. Learn more about reading an eyeglass prescription.

At Glendale Eye Doctors | Optometrists, our opticians will work with you and your child to find the best eyeglass lenses and frames. We can even add a prescription to kids sunglasses or sports goggles at our Glendale location.