Children's Eye Exams

Children's Eye Exams

Children's Eye Exams

Children's Eye Exams

Children's Eye Exams

“Performing eye exams on infants and children is a huge passion of mine. As an elementary and high-school student, I started tutoring children ages 3 to 16 math and reading. I helped the little ones count numbers and sound out letters, while I taught the older students algebra and reading comprehension. This was my favorite after-school job because I knew I was making a difference in the learning and development of these children, which correlated to their success in school.

Now, as an optometrist, I can diagnose and treat visual conditions that could impair vision, and thus, affect the learning and development of these children. The American Optometric Association states that the first eye exam should be between 6 to 12 months of age, then at 3 years old, then before school starts and every year after that. I am comfortable seeing infants and encourage parents to take their children in especially if they are noticing an eye turn, swelling and redness on the eyes, or difficulty reaching objects in front of them.

In school-age children, the inability to focus their eyes or move their eyes inward can cause difficulty in doing near-related tasks, such as reading. In most patients, especially if it is their first eye examination, I dilate their eyes with a cycloplegic drop to fully relax their eye muscles and reveal their true prescription. I am able to provide a more accurate prescription for the child in hopes to relieving them from symptoms such as frequent headaches and eye strain.

I absolutely enjoy providing this care for our pediatric population! There is a huge need in our area for this care and nothing makes me happier than changing a child’s life by giving them a pair of glasses they did not even think they needed.

Thank you very much for choosing me and our team at East Main Vision Clinic for your children’s eye care! I provide thorough comprehensive examinations and education for all of my patients. If it is something that I am unable to treat or diagnose, I will put you in the right direction and refer you to a specialist in the area depending on what treatment is needed. “

- Dr Santa Elena

We love seeing kids!

We know how nervous kids can be when it comes time to go to the doctor. We take pride in making children feel as comfortable as possible while in our office. Our technicians, many of whom are parents themselves, care for little ones with calming compassion. Dr. Santa Elena uses painless, fun eye tests that assess eye movement and sensory function, as well as visual acuity. If further diagnostic testing or vision therapy are required, we refer to pediatric specialists to continue vision care.

We recommend that children have their first comprehensive eye between 6 and 12 months, 3 years old and before starting school. While school screenings help to assess for vision impairment, they do not replace a comprehensive, in-office exam with a qualified eye doctor.

80% off kids eye exams
children odds for vision disorder (1 in 20 preschoolers, 1 in 4 school-age children)
50% of world's population expected to be Myopic by 2050

What To Expect

Like eye exams for adults, Dr. Santa Elena will assess the eye health inside and out, assess vision to determine if glasses are necessary, and view the inside of the eye to ensure the whole eye is healthy.

Children may require cycloplegic eye drops as part of their exam. These drops temporarily suspend your child’s ability to focus their eyes, which allows us to determine their full, accurate prescription. These drops are safe to use, and your child’s pupils will return to normal after 24 hours.

How Often Do Kids Need Eye Exams?

It is important for children to return for yearly eye exams as vision often changes up to 25 years of age.

Can My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are a great option for many children, but not all. Dr. Santa Elena will help you decide what type of vision correction is best for your child based on his or her eye health, vision needs, and maturity level. It is important to know that if you decide to have younger children fit with contact lenses, you will need to play an active role in helping them with insertion and removal as they learn how to handle them. Contact lenses are medical devices and good hygiene is a must! Your technician will review safe handling and care with you and your child before he or she is dispensed their first set of contact lenses.


Functional or behavioral optometry is an extended practice that studies vision in relation to the visual need of everyday tasks. Functional eye exams are done on children and adults alike and tailored to visual demands, whether it be school or work settings. We want to ensure children can perform tasks and be visually comfortable. The goal is to relieve visual stress on the child/person making their daily tasks less taxing or interruptive. Our Optometrists will conduct all relevant testing and offer personal treatment plans.

Children often get a routine vision screening at school or with the pediatrician. When they pass with “20/20” vision it’s common to assume it means their vision is fine. A child can pass a vision screening but still have serious functional vision problems that impede their ability to learn or read.

A basic vision screening is just that, basic! It takes functional optometry to get to the root of eyesight and vision.


Anyone with vision problems can benefit, but especially children!

  • Having difficulties reading or reading at a slower pace than peers

  • Hand eye coordination difficulties

  • Long periods of screen time

  • Visual fatigue, burning, irritated eyes

  • Patients diagnosed with strabismus (crossed-eyes) or amblyopia (lazy eye)


Treatments may include: Prescription Glasses, advice on decreasing visually demanding tasks, targeted lenses for the reduction of headaches and migraines, and finally a referral out for vision therapy if needed. Treating visual and behavioral problems at an early age can often improve learning capabilities and assist with success as they age, and into adulthood.

What Is Myopia Control?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an irreversible condition that impacts distance vision. It can have a significant impact on a person’s life and is often associated with other substantial vision problems. One of the earliest tell-tale signs of the condition is that a person will often squint to see people or objects that are at a distance.

There are multiple treatments to slow down the progression of myopia including MiSight (soft contact lenses), Orthokeratology (overnight lenses), and atropine drops.

More on Myopia Control

Healthy Infants Healthy Eyes Healthy Futures

Dr Santa Elena is a certified InfantSEE ® Provider Passionate about “establishing a lifetime of healthy eyes and vision”. Click the link to find out more or call us today to schedule your infant.