A: An eye doctor can easily determine if a child would need eyeglasses by performing a special eye exam. Typically, the child’s eyes are instilled with dilation drops, which help relax the focusing muscles within the eye. This allows the ophthalmologist or optometrist to accurately measure your child’s prescription. Since your child probably can’t respond correctly to “which looks better, number one or number two?” eye doctors’ use a special instrument called a retinoscope to perform Retinoscopy. The test is quick and very accurate and requires minimal cooperation from the patient.
After the eye exam, your eye doctor will let you know whether or not your child will require glasses. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend that your child’s eyes be screened for problems at birth, by 6 months of age, at 3 to 4 years of age, at 5 years of age, and every following year. This not only rules out the need for glasses, but also helps determine if your child may have a more serious underlying issue such as strabismus or amblyopia.