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Frequently Asked Questions
During a comprehensive eye exam, your child’s optometrist will perform a series of painless tests that will determine the quality of their vision and overall health of the eye. Your optometrist will use letters, lights and/or pictures (which means your child does not even have to be able to read or know the alphabet to have an eye exam!) to determine if your child requires prescription glasses or not, if one eye is working harder than the other, evaluate vision clarity, and see how their extra-ocular muscles are functioning. By using high powered microscopes, they can look deep inside your child’s eyes to ensure the cornea, iris, lens and blood vessels in each eye appear normal and healthy.In addition, your doctor of optometry is available to discuss various topics and many are available for urgent care appointments (pink eye, eye injuries, etc.), can help treat allergies, and can discuss different eyewear solutions with you.
Your child should have a complete optometric eye exam at six months, before starting kindergarten, and annually throughout the school years to ensure optimal eye health and developmental progress, or if you notice any concerning symptoms between appointments.
It’s recommended, just like regular visits to the dentist, that children receive a comprehensive eye exam from a doctor of optometry every year. If your child has had a sight or vision screening at school, know that not all eye tests are created equal, and this should not replace a comprehensive eye exam.
Most provinces in Canada offer a level of coverage for regular comprehensive eye exams for children. In BC, MSP coverage is available for annual eye exams for children under 19. If your child is enrolled in kindergarten in BC, they may be eligible to participate in the Eye See … Eye Learn® (ESEL) program, and receive a comprehensive eye exam fully covered by MSP. If prescribed, kindergarten students will also receive one free pair of eyeglasses. ESEL is available across 20 school districts in BC.