My experience with taking my child to the pediatric ophthalmologist
Since I tirelessly searched the internet for an article about somebody’s personal experience with taking their child to an ophthalmologist with no luck, I decided that I would share my experience. I was very nervous taking my child there because I heard that every ophthalmologist will dilate your child’s eyes to further examine them. I was so scared that her vision would be so disturbed that she wouldn’t be able to function properly and it would break my heart. I’d also heard that children with light eyes tend to stay dilated much longer, sometimes TWO WEEKS! It was so nerve wrecking that I had actually rescheduled my daughter’s appointment several times.
Don’t listen to every horror story you find
Stay far away from people’s horror stories about eye drops and taking their children to the ophthalmologist. Those are very rare, and oh yea, very much exaggerated. The doctor isn’t going to do anything without your consent. If you’re legitimately concerned even while you’re there, you can opt out of any procedure. Don’t go against your better judgment of course. The appointment will be a varying experience depending on what is wrong with your child’s eyes.
The eye exam
The child will first have their eyes tested with that funny looking mask and they will be asked to identify pictures or letters depending on how old or advanced your child is. It is there that they will decide if the child needs glasses or not.
You will be asked if they notice anything abnormal about the way they see things. How close they sit to the television for example (no, doing that doesn’t affect vision but if they’re sitting too close it could indicate they aren’t seeing very well).
This is also a good time to bring up any concerns you may have. Like, if their eyes or crossing, how often they’re crossing and to what extent they are crossing. They will probably notice it during the eye exam where they will shine the light into the child’s eyes to get a better look.
Do ophthalmologists always dilate eyes during the exam?
They do not always give the eye drops to dilate their eyes, they even told me they weren’t going to need to do that for my child even though her eyes were crossing. The doctor decided at the last minute though, that he needed to just to make sure nothing else was wrong with her eyes. It took about fifteen minutes for her eyes to become dilated (not an hour like you will hear on other places on the internet). Once they were dilated she didn’t seem to be affected by it at all. With the way she was acting it didn’t seem like it blurred up her eyes all that much.
How long does it take before your eyes dilate after you’ve been given the drops?
The examination once her eyes were dilated took about fifteen minutes. They again, put the goggle things on her eyes and asked her to identify a picture. They asked her questions about the picture. They took the light and looked into her eyes which took about four minutes. I was there for about two hours, but the only reason I was there for that long was because I showed up early for the appointment, waited in the waiting room for about an hour, then waited in between the drops and the examination for about twenty minutes. The actual exam doesn’t take long at all.
How long do eyes stay dilated?
We got a prescription for eyeglasses and an appointment for follow up to see how her eyes are doing after three months. Once we got home she sat at the computer and started playing her computer games with no trouble. I can’t even tell you how long her eyes were dilated because I didn’t notice anything different about the way she played, walked, etc.