Pediatric Eye Exams Specialist

Cooper Optometry

Optometrists located in Santa Monica, CA

Children who don’t receive preventive eye care can end up with vision issues and damaging eye problems as adults. Dr. Donna Cooper offers pediatric eye exams at Cooper Optometry in Santa Monica, California to ensure good eye health at all stages of life. Dr. Cooper and Dr. Chung are well equipped to provide children as young as three years with comprehensive eye exams, evaluate vision, and identify potential ocular problems such as retinal detachment. Schedule a pediatric eye exam online or by calling Cooper Optometry directly.

Pediatric Eye Exams

When does my child need an eye exam?

When first born, babies don’t see very well. During the first few months of life, their vision improves significantly and becomes a significant milestone for the family.

These milestones include recognizing loved ones and objects, developing hand and eye coordination, and learning through visual stimulation. If poor vision or eye problems interfere with these activities, your child may have difficulties achieving these anticipated milestones.

Dr. Cooper and Dr. Chung recommend pediatric eye exams for all children three years or older, unless you notice potential signs of vision problems earlier. Annual eye exams should follow as your child ages, until the age of 18.

More frequent visits may be necessary if the doctor identifies issues affecting your child’s eye health or there are concurrent medical conditions that can affect the health of their eyes, such as diabetes.

What happens during a pediatric eye exam?

You can, of course, accompany your child throughout the exam. In many cases, children are more comfortable if they sit in your lap during the appointment.

Depending on their age, Dr. Cooper or Dr. Chung will use several testing techniques to assess vision accuracy and identify potential problems. She may use toys or other objects to determine how well your child moves their eyes and follows movement.

Children who can talk can identify pictures and answer the doctor’s questions about various objects. For the children who can't give reliable responses, such as infants or special needs children, Drs Cooper and Chung use different ways to check eye functioning and eye health without having to ask any questions. They also evaluate their eye alignment to detect any abnormal turning of the eye that can result in conditions like crossed eyes.  They also test for amblyopia (or lazy eye), strabismus (eye turn) and other binocular problems that may be interfering with school and sport activities.  

Will my child get eye drops?

To thoroughly assess the health of internal eye structures, including the blood vessels, optic nerve, and retina, the doctor may administer dilation eye drops. These drops open the pupil wide, giving her access to the internal parts of the eye.

Dilation drops also help the doctor determine if your child has refractive errors that require eyeglasses to correct, including:

  • Farsightedness or myopia
  • Nearsightedness or hyperopia
  • Distorted vision or astigmatism

These drops may sting briefly and can temporarily cause blurry vision. You can help your child get used to the idea of eye drops with a bit of preparation: practice with saline eye drops at home.

To learn more about the benefits of pediatric eye appointments, schedule an appointment online or by calling Cooper Optometry directly.