Children's Eye Exams in San Rafael & San Francisco

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Preserve & Improve Your Child’s Vision

It can be tough to know when you should be taking the time to focus on your child’s vision and eye health. So much requires your attention in these early years, and we understand it can sometimes feel overwhelming to even think about where to start. More importantly, most children won’t know that their vision is worsening or if there is a problem at all. They take for granted how they see is how it should be.

Rising Star Optometry will not only help you ease the stress of providing eye care for your child, but we will also provide meaningful solutions to help your child optimize their vision for today, tomorrow, and beyond.

It all starts with an eye exam. Please, book your child in for an appointment and let our team design the road map for their eye development today!

When Should Your Child Have an Eye Exam?

Parents often have the mis-impression that the annual vision screening with your pediatrician is an eye exam. It is not! Typically they consist of a very basic vision screening of visual clarity, which does a pretty good job of picking up on myopia (near-sightedness) but misses the majority of eye conditions that dramatically impact reading and learning.

One of the many questions parents have is when they should be booking their child for an eye exam. Eye exams are required throughout your child’s development to determine the need for glasses prescription and detect problems with their vision that could affect them for the rest of their life.

As your child grows, they’ll hit several vision milestones. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that your child undergo an eye exam at these major points. This timeline can change, however, depending on your child’s health history and current eye health.

You should be booking your child for their next eye exam somewhere between 6 months and a year after they’re born. Most eye diseases and conditions haven’t developed for long enough around this age, so this eye exam is to determine if your child’s eyes are working as expected.

Their next eye exam should occur when your child is around 3 years old. At this age, conditions like amblyopia and strabismus can develop and could lead to permanent vision problems if not managed by a professional.

Your child should have an eye exam before they start school, and then annually until they’re 18 years old. Issues like myopia, hyperopia, amblyopia, strabismus, and more tend to develop around these years, and eye exams can help detect them.

Depending on what is discovered during your child’s eye exams, we recommend and prescribe a range of treatments, medications, and prescriptions to help manage their issues and make the most of their vision throughout their life.

What Your Child Can Expect from Their Eye Exams

Before we start the exam, we’ll first have a conversation with you and your child about your family health, overall health, and eye health history. This quick chat helps us orientate the exam to fit your child’s needs and allows us to get to know your child and help them feel more comfortable before starting the rest of the exam.

Our team has extensive experience helping children of all ages address their visual needs to live life with healthy and reliable eyesight. If you or your child have any questions or concerns, please feel free to let us know! The more information we have, the better we can provide for your child and their needs.

After our chat, we’ll start testing your child’s visual strength and acuity. These tests help us determine what prescription your child’s lenses need to be so they can enjoy clear eyesight. We can do this in several ways, but the most common are using a computerized eye chart and phoropter. Did you know that 20/20 is not actually normal vision? Most people have a degree of blurriness that affects their vision, but we can help discover the lens prescription your child may need.

Along with determining the need for glasses, we will also include many assessments of functional vision. These tests help us determine what prescription your child’s lenses need to be so they can enjoy clear eyesight. We can do this in several ways, but the most common are using a computerized eye chart and phoropter. Did you know that 20/20 is not normal vision? Most people have some degree of refractive error (blur) that affects their vision, but we can determine whether a prescription will be helpful.

Please visit our Learning-Related Vision Therapy page for more information about how we help improve the functionality and efficiency of your child’s vision.

Once we determine your child’s prescription, the next step is to assess their eyes for signs of disease. Some eye diseases can occur at any age, and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can increase their risk of developing them.

Eye health assessments are easy, comfortable, and comprehensive. Our team will talk you and your child through the exam so you are always aware of what we’re doing to preserve your child’s vision.

Following the eye health assessment, we’ll have another conversation about our findings. Depending on what we discover during the eye exam, we’ll recommend the best treatments, medications, prescriptions, or exercises to help promote great eye health and vision for your child.

Spotting Problems in Your Child’s Vision

In some cases, your child might be too young to communicate if they experience a vision problem.

Even if your child doesn’t notice their vision issues, there are some tell-tale signs you can watch for to determine if your child is experiencing a vision problem. Some of these include:

  • Getting close to books or screens or holding objects close to their face to see them
  • Tilting their head, covering one eye, or squinting their eyes while on screens, watching the TV, or performing near work.
  • Eye rubbing after reading or extended screen use.
  • Experiencing headaches regularly, particularly around the eyes or the forehead.
  • Watery, red, or irritated eyes.
  • Trouble reading.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Trouble focusing.
  • Blinking excessively.

How Can Vision Therapy Help?

While glasses and contact lenses can help correct your child’s refractive errors, vision therapy can improve the efficiency of your child’s visual system.

Vision therapy is a curated treatment program that acts like physical therapy but focuses on the eyes and vision. Through a range of different exercises, we can help treat deficiencies in your child’s vision, including, but not limited to convergence insufficiency and focusing insufficiency, tracking problems, amblyopia, strabismus, myopia, and more.

Some of the skills we focus on developing include:

  • Eye tracking (smooth pursuits and saccades, reading eye movements)
  • Near focusing
  • Convergence (ability to cross the eyes, and uncross them)
  • Binocular eye coordination
  • Depth perception
  • Visual perception
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Amblyopia or “lazy” eye
  • Strabismus (an eye or eyes that tend to wander in our out)

Before starting vision therapy, your child will have an initial assessment that includes a visual efficiency evaluation. This evaluation will look for deficiencies in their eye coordination, fusion, near focusing, and visual tracking.

Exercises are designed to be engaging and fun, and often involve tools like:

  • Therapeutic lenses, prisms and filters
  • Computerized vision games and exercises
  • Free space tracking, focusing, and convergence/divergence exercises
  • Exercises that promote improved eye-hand coordination, balance, gaze stability, depth perception, and visual motor integration

Vision therapy can also improve deficiencies related to how your child processes information. These issues, known as learning-related vision problems, can include:

  • Eye tracking (smooth pursuits and saccades, reading eye movements)
  • Near focusing
  • Convergence (ability to cross the eyes, and uncross them)
  • Binocular eye coordination
  • Depth perception
  • Visual perception
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Amblyopia or “lazy” eye
  • Strabismus (an eye or eyes that tend to wander in our out)

With the help of our curated program designed to match your child’s needs, vision therapy could improve your child’s vision for school, sports, and more!

Book Your Child’s Appointment Today!

Don’t wait to give your child’s vision the help it deserves. Book an appointment and let our team start your child on their eye care journey!

Vision Therapy Success Stories

Where to find us

San Rafael

You can find our practice in the Wellness Center on the upper level of the Montecito Plaza Shopping Center. Parking is plentiful and there are many great shopping and eating options for before or after your visit, including Trader Joes and Whole Foods across the street.

Contact Information

Address

361 Third Street, Suite C, Montecito Plaza Wellness Center
San Rafael, CA 94901

Our Hours

Mondays
10 AM6 PM
Tuesdays
10 AM6 PM
Wednesdays
9 AM6 PM
Thursdays
10 AM6 PM
Fridays
Closed
Saturdays
9 AM6 PM
Sundays
Closed

San Francisco

Our San Francisco location can be found in the same building as Melody Cafe and Kidspace. All day street and metered parking is available and there is a Safeway nearby.

Contact Information

Address

3401 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Our Hours

Mondays
Closed
Tuesdays
11 AM6:30 PM
Wednesdays
Closed
Thursdays
Closed
Fridays
Closed
Saturdays
9 AM5 PM
Sundays
Closed

Our San Francisco location can be found in the same building as Melody Cafe and Kidspace. All day street and metered parking is available and there is a Safeway nearby.

Contact Information

Address

3401 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Our Hours

Mondays
Closed
Tuesdays
11 AM6:30 PM
Wednesdays
Closed
Thursdays
Closed
Fridays
Closed
Saturdays
9 AM5 PM
Sundays
Closed

You can find our practice in the Wellness Center on the upper level of the Montecito Plaza Shopping Center. Parking is plentiful and there are many great shopping and eating options for before or after your visit, including Trader Joes and Whole Foods across the street.

Contact Information

Address

361 Third Street, Suite C, Montecito Plaza Wellness Center
San Rafael, CA 94901

Our Hours

Mondays
10 AM6 PM
Tuesdays
10 AM6 PM
Wednesdays
9 AM6 PM
Thursdays
10 AM6 PM
Fridays
Closed
Saturdays
9 AM6 PM
Sundays
Closed

Our Services

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