We See Babies from 6 Months of Age

Parents are often surprised to learn that they can take their baby from as young as six months of age, to an optometrist for an eye examination.

After all, a baby can’t read, or tell you what they are seeing!

Many of the eye testing techniques have been specially adapted to cater for infants – and as most of the tests are objective, they may be performed long before your child is verbal.

The main challenge with eye examinations for babies and infants, is getting their cooperation. For this reason, we suggest trying to book your baby’s optometrist appointment for a time when they are fed and well rested – but it’s also reassuring to have an optometrist with many years of experience in working with infants, like Aphrodite Livanes. Our practice is very welcoming for babies and children, with plenty of toys for them to play with, as well as children’s DVDs being shown in the waiting area.

What to Expect When You Take Your Baby to the Optometrist

As the parent/guardian, you will need to complete a questionnaire about your child.

In addition to asking about any family history of eye conditions, it will also request information such as:

  • whether your baby was born prematurely;
  • if it was a difficult birth;
  • or (if they are mobile) whether they have been crawling in an unusual way.

While these may seem unrelated, your answers provide valuable information for your baby’s optometrist.

One of the reasons for regular eye examinations in any age group, is because your optometrist can identify conditions which may not otherwise be apparent.

However if you have noticed any of the following in your baby, be sure to tell your child’s optometrist.

Possible Signs of Vision Problems in Babies

  • frequently rubbing eyes (not just when tired)
  • persistent redness or irritation of the eyes
  • excessive tearing
  • constant shaking of the eye
  • squinting or excessive blinking
  • drooping eyelids
  • extreme sensitivity to light
  • any crossing of the eye/s
  • inability to maintain eye contact
  • anything out of the ordinary in the eyes

How Does an Optometrist Check a Baby's Vision?

baby with eyeglassesMost tests for common eye conditions can be done with your baby seated on your lap, with the optometrist kneeling or crouching down to your baby’s level.

Using a retinoscope (an instrument which shines a light into the eye), the optometrist will check the pupil and the retina behind it to for any abnormalities, and how they respond to the light. Eye drops may be used to aid in the examination.

Your optometrist will also check whether your baby’s eyes are able to focus on and follow an object (such as a light) as it moves, or they may use various flash cards to attract the gaze of your baby.

What to bring to your baby’s optometrist appointment

On the day of your child’s appointment please bring your Medicare card, along with details of your GP and private health fund (if applicable). It’s also a good idea to print out and complete the attached Children’s Questionnaire in the comfort of your own home, to save time and stress when you bring your baby to the optometrist.

Aphrodite Livanes has a special interest in the field of paediatric optometry, and has been working with babies and children for over 30 years.

Should your baby require glasses, our Alexandra Hills practice has a great range of baby’s and children’s frames for you to choose from – including the multi award-winning Tomato Glasses range, specially designed to be lightweight, adjustable, and kid-tough.

To book an optometrist appointment for your child, please call us on (07) 3824 1878 or you can book online now.

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