Pediatric Eye Care

Our team appreciates that parents trust us with their children’s vision care, whether it’s a first comprehensive eye exam or treatments for specific eye conditions. We provide access to pediatric eye care for children in the Bronx and Queens at our 3 New York Ophthalmology offices.

First Eye Exams

Eye doctors can begin examining a child’s eyes at 6-months-old to check for eye focus and to ensure the eyes work together. We recommend a comprehensive eye exam between ages 3 and 4 when our eye doctors can use eye charts that include pictures, numbers, or letters. At this stage, we can check depth perception and color vision, determine eye health, and look for any signs of cross-eye or other congenital disorders. We can also detect amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” a condition in which sight does not develop normally in one eye. If left untreated during early childhood, amblyopia may not be treatable in later years.

Beyond Vision Screenings

School-aged children typically get vision screenings throughout their pre-school and elementary school years. Even though screenings can be a valuable resource for detecting a child’s basic vision, parents shouldn’t rely on these tests to diagnose all potential vision problems. These screenings may overlook students with “lazy eye” or those with eyes that aren’t coordinated. We recommend children get annual eye exams with a qualified eye doctor to ensure that vision conditions get diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

Pediatric Eye Exams

At New York Ophthalmology, our team understands that any kind of doctor appointment can create anxiety for children. We’re dedicated to making both the child and their parent or guardian as comfortable as possible during the eye exam. The appointment itself is tailored to the children’s ages, especially regarding their ability to read.

For younger children, it’s best to schedule eye appointments at times they are normally rested. That’s typically in the morning. Preparing children for the appointment before leaving home can greatly help the eye tests go smoothly. Even though we try to see all patients as promptly as possible, be sure to bring along a favorite toy and snacks in case there is a longer-than-expected wait.

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Our team of board-certified ophthalmologists and eye care specialists provides a range of eye health and vision care services for patients at our modern, comfortable offices in the Bronx and Queens. Our entire staff is dedicated to making your visit positive and enjoyable.

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What to Expect

During the eye exam our doctors check for squinting, eyelids drooping, problems with facial muscles, and any redness or swelling around the eyes. They use a pen light to check that the child’s pupils respond normally.

Some of the other conditions checked during the exam include:

  • Eye alignment
  • Near convergence – the point at which both eyes together can see a single image
  • Near point of accommodation – closest point at which an image is seen clearly
  • Stereopsis – ability to see in 3 dimensions
  • Color vision
  • Peripheral (side) vision

If any of these initial tests indicate a potential problem, more extensive testing may be done later in the exam. If a child is too young to read, our doctors use a chart with the letter E headed up, down, left, and right. We then ask the child to point in the correct direction.

Warning Signs

Certain symptoms can indicate potential vision trouble. Some of the more common symptoms that require an exam by a specialist include:

  • One or both eyes turning in or out
  • Tearing, redness, or discharge that lasts for several days
  • One pupil that appears larger than the other
  • Suffering from headaches
  • Asking to sit closer to the blackboard at school
  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Squinting or rubbing eyes excessively
  • Difficulty catching a ball
  • Not wanting to look at books

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with an eye doctor. You can request an appointment at one of New York Ophthalmology’s offices in the South Bronx, Jamaica, or Jackson Heights using the online form. Or call one of our 3 offices directly at (718)-585-5500 (Bronx), (718)-206-2002 (Jamaica), or (718)-205-5050 (Jackson Heights).

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