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Pediatric Eye Care

Bring the smallest members of your family to OPT. Dr. Gabrielle M. Szwajca-Drewniak can examine children as young as three years of age. She will objectively assess their prescription, binocular vision, and check their eye health. If Vision Therapy is recommended by our or another provider, we can perform services at our office.


How often should my child have their eyes examined?

According to the American Optometric Association, your child should have their first examination at six months of age. Clinical research has shown that at six months, the average child has reached a number of critical development milestones, making this an appropriate age for the first eye and vision examination. At ages three to five years of age, it is recommended to have another examination at least once or as recommended for at-risk children. From ages six to eighteen years, an annual examination is recommended. 

The following categories of children are considered high-risk and are recommended to have an annual, comprehensive eye and vision examination:

  • Children with physical abnormality including a lazy eye, drooping eyelid, or involuntary eye movement(s)
  • Children with central nervous system dysfunction including Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, seizures, developmental delay
  • Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Children enrolled in Early Intervention Programs including Head Start and those with an IEP
  • Children with a strong family history of amblyopia, strabismus, or other early eye disease

What assessments are done during an eye examination for children?

The extent of testing done during a pediatric eye exam largely depends on the age and skill level of the child being examined. In order to assess their refractive error, both subjective and objective measures will be used. Although it would be helpful for the pediatric patient to know their letters and numbers, it is not a necessity as we can use other methods to assess their vision. Tests done during an examination will include but is not limited to:

  • Refraction
  • Ocular motility
  • Depth perception
  • Eye pressure
  • Corneal health evaluation
  • Retinal health evaluation
  • Color vision

What do I need to know if my child is Colorblind?

Impaired color vision is a common condition that occurs in about 8% of males and 0.5% of females. Children with color deficiency, may have difficulty precisely matching colors or discriminating fine color differences. It is helpful to know whether a color vision deficiency exists, because severe color vision deficiency may cause a child to be misidentified as learning disabled. Identification of abnormal color vision prior to school age in also important, since part of the early educational process generally involves the use of color identification and discrimination. The presence of a color vision deficiency may also indicate an ocular health problem; therefore, color vision testing may need to be repeated, if an acquired color vision deficiency is suspected. Although standard testing only includes detection of protan and deutan color deficiency, we can administer other color vision tests at our office to provide the added advantage of detecting tritan defects and categorizing them as mild, moderate, or severe.