Things To Remember When Performing a Pediatric Eye Exam

Aug 17, 2023 | Optometry

Things To Remember When Performing a Pediatric Eye Exam

After years of visiting the eye doctor, adult patients know what happens during an eye exam. But the experience can be new and scary for a child who hasn’t spent any time in your chair. Fortunately, you can make the experience better for them by learning these things to remember when performing a pediatric eye exam.

You May Have To Take a Different Approach

One thing to remember when giving an eye exam to a child is that you may have to take a different approach. For example, even if you have a warm and friendly demeanor, you may find yourself with a child who seems fearful and introverted because they don’t know what to expect.

Try to keep your voice calm and soothing while being careful when you use your instruments. That will make the experience far less frightening for them.

They May Be Scared of Your Devices

When performing a pediatric eye exam, remember that your patient may be afraid of the devices you use, such as your tonometer. Fortunately, you can alleviate those fears by showing them how you will use them on yourself or even your assistant.

Once the young patient sees it didn’t harm you or the assistant, they should be more trusting and comfortable. But don’t be surprised if they still seem a little nervous when you use them. Over time, they should get used to it.

Use Toys To Keep Tests Fun

It would help if you tried to keep parts of the exam fun for the child. For example, if you’re trying to determine their mobility or ocular alignment, use a toy or another interesting object. You can even use more than one when you do the confrontational visual fields test so that they have two things they will enjoy looking at.

Avoid Making Dilating the Eyes Scary

One more thing to remember is to avoid making eye dilation scary. Although the drops will likely give the child some discomfort, try to make it seem less serious beforehand and do it quickly so that it doesn’t frighten them.

Although the drops aren’t water, tell them the experience is like having water splashed in their eyes. You can even ask them questions about their interests as you apply the drops so that you put their mind on something else.

In addition, you should remember to use top-of-the-line products in pediatric eye exams, including ophthalmology supplies from Automated Ophthalmics. Our products include tonometer tip covers and other supplies you will need to treat your patients.