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Children's Eye Exams

Maintaining proper vision is important for your child to succeed in school and extracurricular activities. Poor vision may result in underperformance in tasks that affect a child’s safety and learning abilities.

A pediatrician or a school nurse will have a harder time conducting a proper vision screening for your child without the proper tools. This is why seeing an optometrist is the best choice when your child needs a comprehensive eye exam. A thorough eye exam is necessary to detect and treat vision problems as soon as they occur.

Pediatric eye exams for children of all ages are performed by an optometrist (not a technician) at all Heartland Vision locations.

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Kids eye exams in Indiana

What to expect at a child's eye exam

Our optometrists have experience in eye exams for people of all ages and will customize your child’s exam to meet their needs. Tests and procedures vary on several factors including age, overall health and vision. Pediatric eye health and vision may be assessed through::

visual acuity testing for children in Indiana Visual Acuity

binocular vision testing for kids Binocular Vision

evaluating peripheral vision in children Visual Field

retinoscopy in children's eye exam Retinoscopy

eye movement tests during a pediatric eye examination Eye Movement

pediatric eye health assessment by a licensed optometrist Eye Health

Pupil response test during kids' eye exam Pupil Response

Other things your optometrist may check during a kid’s eye exam:

3 years Toddlers should have their first eye exam at age 3.
5-6 years Kids should have an eye exam before starting 5K.
6-18 years Once a year or as recommended by your eye doctor.

According to the American Optometric Association, an infant’s first eye exam should be at 6 months old. Please contact us for a referral for children under 5 years old.

Preparing for your child’s first eye exam

AOA recommends taking your child to an optometrist for an eye exam at 6 months. It’s especially important to do so if you have any suspicion of vision problems or if your child has a family history of vision impairment.

  • Tips for the parent to prepare for kids' eye exam

    For the Parent

Preparing for your child’s first eye exam is simple. Your child’s optometrist will ask about your child’s medical history before the exam begins. Be ready to provide information about:

  • Medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Allergies
  • Family medical history
  • Your child’s primary care physician

For future eye exams, bring your child’s contact lenses or glasses to the appointment. If you have any concerns about your child’s eye health or have noticed symptoms such as headaches, squinting or watery eyes, let the optometrist know.

  • Tips to prepare your child for their eye exam

    For the Child

It’s normal for your child to be nervous about getting an eye exam, especially if it’s their first time. There are several methods you can use to reduce their anxiety and make the appointment more enjoyable.

  • Let your child know when the eye exam is scheduled.
  • Visit the clinic ahead of time so they’re familiar and comfortable with the location.
  • Bring them to your own eye exam so they see that it’s a painless experience.
  • Explain the eye examination process in a way they’ll understand. Tell them about the tests with shapes and pictures and that the optometrist will shine a light to look into their eyes.
  • Encourage questions from your child, and let them know they can ask the optometrist too.
  • Bring a favorite toy or stuffed animal for them to hold.
  • Dilation for kids' eye exam

    Are kids’ eyes dilated during an eye exam?

So your optometrist can effectively examine the inside of the eye (behind the iris), it is necessary to dilate your child’s eyes during a comprehensive eye exam. Dilation makes it easier to detect many eye conditions including glaucoma, retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy. The drops are safe and effective for kids of all ages.

Dilating eye drops: side effects

      Depending on the dilation drop type and concentration, side effects generally only last 4-6 hours. Side effects can include:
      • Light sensitivity
      • Pupil enlargement
      • Blurry vision
      • Trouble focusing on close objects

Contact Heartland Vision for more information regarding pediatric eye exam tests. Our team of optometrists and trained opticians are happy to help with all your concerns.

Child eye exam cost

Child eye exam cost

If your child is under your vision insurance plan, most plans cover the cost of annual pediatric eye exams. Heartland Vision’s doctors accept most insurance and union plans. We also offer a free benefits check to explain your plan and estimated out-of-pocket costs to you. Call or stop by for more information on payment.

If you have no insurance, standard eye exams at Heartland Vision typically cost $69*. (You can view our current offer details for promotional prices and restrictions). Another effective payment option is CareCredit, which we accept for kids' eye exams and eyewear at all our locations.

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After the eye exam:

After the exam, the optometrist will go over the results with you and recommend glasses, an eye patch or vision therapy. It’s normal for your child’s vision to be slightly blurred or sensitive to light for several hours if eye drops were used.

Subtle symptoms can sneak up on your child, especially if they don’t complain about them or have trouble putting their symptoms into words. This makes it important to keep up with routine eye exams to detect vision problems before they get worse.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam appointment online at any of our Heartland Vision locations:

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After a child's eye exam

Frequently Asked Questions

Can children have their eye test early?

Absolutely. If you or your child have concerns, schedule an exam for your child. It's important to maintain current information on your child's vision status and eye health, as vision issues can at times be signs of underlying health issues. Also, your child's vision impacts his or her ability to fully and safely participate in academics, sports and play.  

Can children's vision change?

Children's prescriptions typically need adjustments annually. Some children will need their prescriptions adjusted every 8-10 months. 

How much do children's eye exams cost?

Eye exams for children cost $69* at Heartland Vision.

How can my child prepare for an eye exam?

You can help your child prepare for an eye exam by:

  • trying to make sure your child gets a good night's sleep the night before the exam
  • bringing your child's contacts or glasses to his or her eye appointment
  • bringing your insurance card or other insurance documentation to your child's appointment

Be ready to describe and to help your child describe any vision problems, eye concerns or eye-related discomfort he or she is experiencing, and reassure your child if he or she is feeling nervous, scared or unsure about visiting the eye doctor. 

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