Children's Eye - Merivale Vision Care

_____ Did you know that nearly 25% of school-age children have vision problems?

Despite the fact that yearly eye exams are covered by OHIP for children up to 20 years old, many preschool and school age children are not receiving adequate professional eye and vision care.

The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less negative impact it will have on a child’s development. Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with a child’s learning, participation in sports and other childhood activities.


_____ A vision examination for children

Your child’s eyes require a vision examination just like adults. A vision screening or limited pre-school physical doesn’t provide enough information to know if your child is experiencing vision problems.

An age appropriate eye and vision examination of a pre-school child would generally include the following:

   Patient and family history
   Visual acuity measurement
   Assessment of refractive status
   Evaluation of ocular motility, binocular vision and accommodative function
   Ocular health examination
   Optomap imaging is offered at a reduced fee for children ages 7 to 19
   When appropriate, supplemental testing of visual perceptual development may be provided

At Merivale Vision Care, we are equipped to examine infants and school age children. We ensure kids feel comfortable and have a great experience!


_____ How can I prepare for my child’s eye exam?

We see a large number of children at our clinic and often schedule entire families together. Here is an easy list for you to review prior to bringing them in for their eye exam.

  • The optometrist will have your child look at different pictures, letters or numbers, and may be asked to wear “silly” glasses during the various tests.
  • The optometrist will use special lights to look at their eyes.
  • Seeing the optometrist does not mean they are necessarily getting glasses.
  • If two children are being checked, it is great for the older sibling to go first.
  • Smaller children are welcome to sit on their parent’s lap during their eye exam.
  • Often, children will watch a movie while the optometrist looks in their eyes with lights.
  • Sometimes drops are required, the reasons would be discussed with the parents and often a second visit is scheduled when drops are needed.
  • Typically the child exam is a very positive experience.
  • _____ Myopia Progression: What Can We Do?

    What is Myopia? 

    Myopia is a common visual condition known as nearsightedness that prevents children from seeing clearly in the distance without glasses. Myopic prescriptions have a minus (-) power in them. Childhood myopia tends to get worse over time and may be associated with early onset cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal complications. There is lots we can do to help prevent some of these harmful eye conditions.

    Life-long eye health risks increase with myopia progression, Flitcroft 2012 

    Canadian Guideline for screen time:

    Age Hours
    Under 2 0
    2-5 Under 1 hour
    5+ 2 hours max


    No screen time 1 hour before bed

    Outdoor time minimum 1 hour/day

    1.      MiSight Soft Contacts 

    • These are soft contact lenses that are worn while awake at least 6 days a week for 12 hours per day. They have been shown to reduce the rate of myopia progression by ~59%. 
    • Age: 8+ or sooner if child seems able/keen to do CLs. Benefits have been shown up to age 12.  
    • These contact lenses are available in certain prescriptions only. 
    • More info: 

    2.      Eye Drops 

    • We can use a once a day eye drop (usually instilled before bed) which has been shown to reduce the rate of myopia progression by ~50%.  
    • Age: no specific limit, has been used as young as 4 years 
    • May require sun wear depending on iris color. 

    3.       Glasses 

    • MiyoSmart 60% reduction in progression 
    • Age: 7-13 

    4.      Ortho K Contacts 

    • These are hard contact lenses that your child will wear while sleeping only that have been shown to slow the progression of myopia by 50 to 60%.   
    • Age: 6+ but possibly younger if parents motivated. 
    • These contacts are available in certain prescriptions only. 

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    1547 Merivale Road Ottawa, ON K2G4V3
    T: (613) 226-8446
    F: (613) 226-1831

    New patients welcome!