Your Family Optometrists in Laguna Beach and Irvine, CA
Children have different vision and eye care requirements than adults. If your child’s eyesight isn’t functioning in top shape, it can interfere with learning and development. Dr. Michael D. Cook and Dr. David N. Cler, our caring optometrists in Irvine and Laguna Beach, CA, are knowledgeable and experienced in providing kids with all the pediatric eye care services they need.
Annual Eye Exams are Essential
Just because your child isn’t complaining about his or her vision, it doesn’t mean there’s no reason to visit the eye doctor. Kids, especially younger children, do not usually complain about their sight because they aren’t sure what they should be seeing. Often, they just adapt to their view of the world. Yet, if they have an undetected and untreated vision condition, it could get in the way of learning – in the classroom, on the playing field, and in social interactions. Our family optometrist advises that parents schedule a back-to-school eye exam to help children maximize their potential and make the most of the upcoming grade!
When should I start bringing my child to your eye doctor near me?
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the following guidelines are recommended:
- First eye exam at 6 months old
- Second eye exam at 3 years old
- Third eye exam should be before starting elementary school, around 5-6 years old
You should bring your child for follow-up eye exams about every 2 years if they do not wear eyeglasses or contact lenses and have no pediatric risk factors. If your child requires any form of regular pediatric eye care, your eye doctor will provide personalized instructions.
My child passed the school vision test last year. Does he still need a back-to-school eye exam?
Yes. Even if your kid received winning scores on his vision test, he still needs a comprehensive pediatric eye exam. School vision screening is not the same as an eye exam performed by our optometrists in Irvine and Laguna Beach, CA.
While a standard vision test can detect a need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, it does not detect the symptoms of other ocular disorders, such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye misalignment (strabismus), and difficulty with focusing (accommodation). These conditions may require treatment other than vision correction.
What will happen during a pediatric eye exam?
The particular tests and procedures that our optometrists in Irvine and Laguna Beach, CA, will administer depend upon your child’s age and developmental stage. We are experienced with kids and make sure to always use a friendly, gentle manner!
In general, Dr. Cook and Dr. Cler will evaluate the following:
Visual Acuity: This testing assesses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The results of these tests help us determine if your kid needs eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Visual Skills: Accommodation, Binocular Vision, Peripheral Vision, Color Vision, Tracking, Hand-eye Coordination
Eye Health: Our eye doctor will inspect the area around the eye and inside the eye. If necessary, we will apply dilating eye drops to examine the retina and optic nerve. If your child has any pediatric risk factors, such as family history of ocular disease, premature birth, medications, systemic disease, or previous eye injury, it is important that you share this information with us!
What are the warning signs of a vision problem?
We urge all parents and educators to be on the lookout for signs of a vision disorder. The earlier you spot these signs, you can prevent children from struggling with various learning challenges. In fact, it is not unusual for kids to be misdiagnosed with a condition such as ADD/ADHD when a vision problem is really the culprit.
Behaviors that are warning signs of a vision problem:
- Squinting, or closing one eye to see
- Excessive blinking
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Inability to hold a steady gaze
- Wandering eye, or crossed eyes
- Head tilting or turning
- Avoidance of reading
- Sitting very close to screens or holding books close to the face
- Droopy eyelid
- Poor tracking skills
- Short attention span
If you notice of the above signs, contact our Laguna Beach or Irvine, CA, office to schedule an appointment for a pediatric eye exam. Note: If your child suffers any other uncomfortable or painful symptoms, or has an eye injury, we also provide treatment for eye emergencies in Irvine.
Contact Lenses for Teens
If we diagnose your teenager with a vision condition that requires correction, contact lenses may be the preferred option. Many teens don’t like the look or feel of glasses on their face, and they prefer the freedom of wearing contacts – especially when playing sports.
Our family optometrist regularly performs eye exams to prescribe contact lenses for teens. As long as your teenager commits to caring for the contacts properly and handling them responsibly, it’s a good fit for clear and healthy vision. Because they are simply discarded at the end of each day, daily disposable contacts are often the best choice.
Insurance for Pediatric Eye Care
At i2ioptometry, we accept most medical and vision insurance plans. Visit our Insurance page to see a listing of the specific plans, or call us to ask about insurance coverage for your child’s eye exam or eyewear. Our staff will be pleased to answer any questions you have about your benefits.