• Does my child need to get a dilated eye exam?


    Question:

    Is it absolutely necessary for my child to get a dilated eye exam? I am very nearsighted, and got glasses around age 6. My daughter "failed" a school eye exam, and I'm going to bring her to see someone I have seen for years who does not believe children should be dilated regularly unless there's a significant medical history or greater concern. She also states she's well enough able to see through the pupil as children's eyes are often more dilated than adults. This sounds reasonable, and I found dilation kind of traumatic as a child. What are your thoughts on how really necessary this is?


    Answer:

    Given the family history of nearsightedness, it seems reasonable to determine the refractive error most accurately. In an older child, that can be sometimes done without dilation, but is hard to do in a preschooler. If your daughter has any vision deficit or misalignment (eyes crossing), dilation should be performed.