Child Comprehensive Eye Exam

Published on
March 27, 2022

The American Optometric Association recommends our children be examined from the time they are six months to twelve months of age and again by the time they turn three years of age, and again before they begin school. Dr. McBryar sees a lot of children who have never had a comprehensive eye exam. In her intake form, there is a question that asks if your child has had a comprehensive eye exam, and many parents will check 'yes'; however, upon further probing, it is discovered that what they have had is a screening at the pediatrician's office.

What are vision screenings?

The purpose of vision screening is to identify children with visual impairments or eye conditions that are likely to result in vision loss in order to refer them to an appropriate eye care professional for further evaluation and treatment. The screenings are important, as they help eye care providers identify if a child needs glasses or if any gross abnormalities exist in their eyes. However, according to the American Optometric Association, screenings only assess 4% of a comprehensive eye exam and miss 75% of children with vision problems.

What is the purpose of a comprehensive eye exam?

A comprehensive eye exam should include an assessment of your child's ocular health and their refractive status. They should also be assessed for their binocular vision, which means whether or not they have the ability to use both eyes together, and their ocular motility, which includes the eye movements needed for reading, as well as their accommodative or focusing ability, which determines whether they are able to see clearly when they are reading. Therefore, if you have a child who is school-aged and they have not had a comprehensive eye examination yet, you should definitely schedule one for them.

Eye exams for children in preschool (2 to 5 years) 

It is during this stage that children are learning how to draw, color, cut paper, stack blocks, play with balls, and build with lego. A comprehensive exam for children in preschool will usually consist of the following tests:

  • Visual acuity
  • Lazy eye
  • Stereopsis (3D vision)
  • Eye tracking
  • Convergence
  • Color vision
  • Ocular health

Chattanooga’s Pediatric Optometrist 

Our pediatric vision specialty clinic is a fun and mission focused clinic located in Hixson just outside of Chattanooga. Dr. Heather McBryar is passionate about helping kids improve their school and athletic performance. Her professional credentials include Diplomate At the American Board of Optometry and Fellow at the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. We look forward to seeing your child soon!


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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