Pediatrics & Binocular Vision

Pediatric Eye Care

Children have special needs requiring special care. Problems may include:

  • Farsightedness
  • Nearsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Binocular vision problems (crossed eyes)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Pediatric eye disease

Besides diagnosing and providing care for the above conditions, the Indiana University School of Optometry Pediatric Optometry Service offers infant eye care, screening for visual processing deficits, and vision therapy.

Detecting eye problems in infants and young children

Vision develops significantly after birth. Newborns will only react to objects that are large, bold, and close to them. New techniques for examining infants have been developed over the last 20 years, enabling specialists to complete many components of the adult examination in an infant examination. This enables us to not only detect blurred vision in an infant, but also make sure that an infant's vision will develop well during childhood.

It is important to realize that children may not be aware that they have a vision problem, and may not complain to parents or teachers. Lazy eye and nearsightedness, two very common vision conditions in children, often exist without symptoms. Only with an examination by an eye care specialist can these conditions be detected and properly treated.

Vision problems at school

Even vision checks in the pediatrician's office or at a vision screening at school do not reveal all problems. Vision checks at the pediatrician's office typically assess clarity of vision, which is only one of the many components of proper eye and vision function. School screenings, even if conducted by eye doctors, are not intended to substitute for complete evaluations in an eye doctor's office.

Some school-age children have learning-related vision problems that affect school performance. Symptoms may include difficulty with handwriting, remembering words, completing work, or confusing similar words/letters. An assessment of visual-information processing and management of any learning-related vision problem may be necessary for these children.

A complete eye and vision examination should include an assessment of:

  • Visual clarity
  • Eye alignment
  • Eye movement and focusing skills (important in reading)
  • Refractive error (glasses prescription)
  • Eye teamwork
  • Eye health (including pupillary dilation for a full inspection of the internal eye)

Children should be examined thoroughly for nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, crossed or turned eyes, color vision deficiencies, and eye health problems such as congenital cataracts, glaucoma, and optic nerve and retinal problems.

If your child has not had a recent examination, make an appointment soon. Remember, we all have only one set of eyes, and proper care of this precious gift starts at an early age.

Pediatric Eye Exams

The School of Optometry eye care centers offer full service pediatric care including diagnoses and management of routine and complex eye conditions including refractive error, amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye turn) and more. Please follow the link below to read “My Day at the Eye Doctor” storybook. This may help children and their parents feel more at ease when they come in for their eye exam. 

What to expect at the eye doctor

Full Story Book

Text Only Version