Friday, April 5, 2013

At Home Eye Exam

Some good friends of ours have an adorable 6 month old baby girl. My friend noticed she was going cross eyed, and after talking with the pediatrician, she and her husband decided to take their daughter in for an eye exam. I was intrigued. I've always wondered how in the world you give a baby an eye exam. I see babies and small children in glasses and wonder how a doctor could get a prescription correct for such a small child.

Well, they took their daughter in, and after the appointment my friend called to tell me what the doctor did. He shined a light in her eyes, and by looking in her eye with the light shining, he could tell when she was focusing. Amazing! He did say that this is not the most precise way of examining eyes as having a regular eye exam where the patient can say when things are focused, etc., but it does give them an idea of the baby's eyesight. Again, amazing! It got me thinking, "Hey, I should take my kids in to get their eyes checked." My very creative and resourceful friend said, "Why don't you do a little test at home?  Measure out the distance you have to stand away from the chart. Take lots of pictures. Post it on your blog!" So, we did! :)

Of course I'm no eye doctor, and this exercise doesn't omit the need to take your children to see an eye doctor down the road, but it can help you as a parent to know if your child is having trouble seeing in any way.

There are many different websites you can visit to obtain some eye exam charts. I visited EYE CARE AMERICA. There were two charts to print off; one for children ages 3-5 and one for older children and adults.

We printed off our charts. The chart for Sophia and Elijah (above left) had a bunch of letter E's in different directions on it. They had to tell me which direction the E's were facing; up, down, left, or right. The chart for Emma (above right) was the standard letter chart. She had to tell me which letter I was pointing to. The Eye Care America website also explains how to evaluate the exam. It is a very quick read...I encourage you to take a look.

We measured out our distance from the eye chart.

Ten feet away from the wall on which the chart hung.

Then, we grabbed a spoon to cover one eye with.

Last, but certainly not least, we took our exams. The children did an excellent job! Elijah was a little squirrely, but that comes with the three year old boy territory. :) Everyone was able to read the chart right down to the 20/20 line. Yeah!

I thought this was a great visual exercise in measuring, following instructions, letter recognition, and telling the difference between objects. It also gave them a little taste of what to expect when they go to the real eye doctor. And, it was fun! :)


  1. Julie, I've said it before and I'll say it are an amazing Mom! Love you!

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