Have A Great Relationship With Your Doctor

Referred To An Ophthalmological? Prep Your Toddler For A Successful Visit

by Terry Wilson

Up to 25 percent of young children have eye problems and the sooner one is detected, the easier the ailment is to treat. Now that your toddler's doctor has detected an eye problem and you have been referred to an ophthalmologist, you're probably ready to make an appointment. But due to the new experience and environment, it's likely that your toddler will deal with some stress and uncertainty during their initial ophthalmological visit– you can help minimize that stress and create a comfortable eye exam experience with the help of these tips and tricks:

Practice Sight Tests

More than likely, the ophthalmologist will forego a standard vision chart test your child's eyesight in favor of charts with pictures or toys instead. For example, some doctors use toy boats or dolls and ask kids to use one or both eyes to follow the object as it gets moved around small area. A penlight will also likely be used to check the eyelids and pupils, and red reflex. To ensure that these tests don't overwhelm your little one during their exam with the ophthalmologist, take the time to complete some practice runs at home ahead of time.

Grab a couple of toys from the toy box and slowly move one at a time in front of your child from left to right as they follow the object with their eyes, yet without moving their head. Ask them to close one eye and use the other to follow the object, and then to switch eyes. You can use a pen light or flashlight to pretend to examine each of your child's eyes so they're used to the process. Avoid actually turning the light on so you don't accidentally cause any eye damage to your child.  This practice will be similar to what they'll experience in the doctor's office.  

Dress up With Faux Glasses

If there is a chance that your child will need to wear prescription glasses as part of their treatment process, consider buying a couple pairs of aux glasses that have no lenses and wear them around the house together. This will give you an opportunity to talk about the importance of eye care and to keep the topic open for conversation on a daily basis. Choose colorful frames that are fun to wear yet that fit well so they replicate the look and feel of real glasses.  

Get Prepped for a Quick Visit

You'll likely be asked your fair share of questions about your toddler's eye health at the first ophthalmologist visit. Taking a little time out to prepare ahead of time will minimize delays and ensure a quick visit for your little one. Sit down and make a list of anything out of the ordinary that you notice about your child's eyesight, like if they tend to hold objects close to their face when inspecting them, or if their eyelids tend to droop when they try to visually focus on something.

You should also gather and make copies of all previous eye exam reports, and document hereditary eye conditions for the doctor to consider. Consider keeping a daily diary in the days leading up to the exam so you can document all of the vision assessments you make, no matter how big or small, that could be important for diagnosis or treatment. This will ensure that nothing important is overlooked when you're communicating your concerns and observations to the doctor.   

These tips and tricks should help get your little one ready for the new tests, tools, and people they are sure to experience upon their first visit to the ophthalmologist's office.   For more information, consider websites like http://www.drgrantmdretinalspecialist.com