Kids Eye Exams Are Necessary

James A. Muse, O.D.

Did you know that the Commonwealth of Kentucky REQUIRES a comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor in order to enter kindergarten or some preschools?

When it’s time for a School Eye exam, we want what’s best for your children.  That’s why at Koby Karp Doctors Eye Institute when we say “we help people see better” that means kids, too!  So, we offer a comprehensive school eye exam that includes:

A visual acuity test using shapes or letters to measure the sharpness of the child’s vision using a projected eye chart to test distance vision. Since children have enormous range of focusing and parents are often needlessly worried when they see a child holding objects too close, the child’s eyes are dilated before the exam. The dilating drops allow the doctor to temporarily prevent the child from using this incredible focusing power so they can accurately measure the child’s eyes for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Then we perform a color screening test to check color vision and determine if there are any color deficiencies. In addition to detecting hereditary color vision deficiencies this test can alert the doctor to possible eye health problems that may affect color vision.

A cover test is administered to check how the eyes work together. The patient will focus on a small object across the room and then cover each of the eyes alternately while staring at the target. An assessment will be made as to whether or not the uncovered eye must move to pick up the target. This test can uncover eye strain or lazy eye or whether one or both of the eyes turn in, out, up, or down. We then repeat this test up close.

Stereopsis or depth perception is tested to make sure the eyes are coordinating properly as well.

Some young children may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction. In this instance an autorefractor can be used.  Autorefraction takes only a few seconds, and the results obtained from the automated test greatly reduce the time required for the doctor to perform a manual refraction and determine the eyeglass prescription.

The doctor may also use a retinoscope*, dim the room lights, and ask the child to fixate on a large target – usually the Big “E” on the chart. As the patient stares, the doctor will shine a light at one eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of the eyes. Based on the way the light reflects from the eye, the doctor is able to “ballpark” the prescription. This test is especially useful for children who are unable to accurately answer the doctor’s questions.

If the tests show that the child needs glasses, a refraction will determine the exact glasses prescription. The doctor will

put the instrument called a phoropter in front of the patient’s eyes and show a series of lens choices. The doctor will ask which of thetwo lenses in each choice looks clearer. Based on the answers, the doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

The Refraction test determines the level of farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism.

It’s easy to set up a comprehensive school eye exam. We will happily fill out all paperwork that your school requires.  Simply inquire at our front desk or call (502) 897-1604 .

And the next time you bring the kids to Koby Karp, be sure to sign them up for the Koby Karp Kids Club!


Make an appointment to evaluate any of these conditions by calling (502) 897-1604 or (800) 777-4393.
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