Correctable eye problems occur in 1 of 20 children. Small infants should see an eye doctor as soon as any eye turning or 'lazy eye' is noticed. Children with a family history of childhood eye disease should be checked by age 3. All kids should have their first eye exam before the start of kindergarten and every year thereafter.
Common pediatric problems are:
- 'Pink eye', which is contagious
- Blurred vision needing glasses and/or contact lenses
- Reading problems in school aged children
- Amblyopia or 'Lazy Eye'
- Congenital problems including cataract and glaucoma
- Nasolacrimal duct obstruction causing excessive tearing
- Chalazion or stye
- Any family eye problems
A pediatric eye evaluation at McCabe Vision Center will include all of the following components:
1. Visual acuity is the measurement of what the eye can see. Often expressed as a fraction, such as 20/20, which is the visual standard of seeing a certain size letter at 20 feet. Visual acuity is measured with and without correction, and also with a pinhole. The pinhole will tell us to what level the eye is correctable.
2. Evaluation of the lids and orbits is done with the biomicroscope. This evaluation is needed to note any lid pathology and position of the lids against the eye.
3. Pupil evaluation is necessary to detect any unseen pathology. Retinal detachment, optic nerve disorders, retinal vein strokes, and other pathology can be detected with a pupil exam.
4. Visual fields are evaluated by confrontation testing. The examiner will sit in front of you and check your peripheral vision. This is a gross determination of visual function in the periphery and used in several states for a driver's examination. Glaucoma, brain strokes, tumors and retinal detachments can cause visual field results.
5. Ocular motility is evaluated to determine if all the extraocular muscles are functional properly. Strokes, thyroid disease and head trauma can cause double vision.
6. Anterior segment evaluations are done on the cornea, tear film, iris and lens of the eye. This evaluation may include a dry eye test, a cataract glare test, and a biomicroscope exam of the anterior segment.
7. Intraocular pressure is tested to rule out high eye pressure, which can be a sign of glaucoma. Too much pressure can cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve resulting in permanent loss of peripheral vision. This is a simple painless test.
8. A refraction test measures your prescription to determine how good your vision can be with and without glasses. With our wavefront testing equipment, you get the most accurate glasses prescription.
9. Posterior segment evaluation is done with the pupil dilated. This allows us to examine the interior of the eye, and the optic nerve. The doctor will use the biomicroscope and a handheld lens to evaluate the macula and optic nerve. Then the doctor wears a headset to thoroughly evaluate the retina.
Some pediatric examinations may include a computerized test to determine if there are eye tracking difficulties. These difficulties can cause reading and comprehension problems and even a type of 'dyslexia' learning difficulty.
Dr. McCabe is well versed in pediatric eye exams.