Detecting visual anomalies in children is of utmost importance to ensure the correct eye health of the smallest. In addition, the early diagnosis of ophthalmological problems enables early and effective treatment. Therefore, we will review some of the most common visual tests for children.
Carrying out a visual test in the adult population is very simple, since the patient has the ability to communicate and interact easily with the specialist. This does not happen in the same way with pediatric patients. But, to determine if the child suffers some alteration in the sight is something that is recommended to do in very early ages. The sooner you start ophthalmologic treatment the success of it will be greater.
When dealing with pediatric patients, it is recommended that the vision test be carried out by a pediatric ophthalmologist, who has the tools and knowledge to interact with children. Children’s vision tests should be quick and fun, so that children do not lose concentration during the analysis process.
The specialist will have to evaluate the child’s responses. In addition, it is important that you know how to read between the lines and analyze the gestures that patients make during the ophthalmological examination. When it comes to children, sometimes what they do is more important than what they say, since they probably do not fully understand the procedure.
There are many visual tests for children whose objective is to determine visual acuity or if there is some type of vision deficiency. However, the 3 tests described below are the most frequent in ophthalmological consultation.
The Pigassou Test is one of the favorites of pediatric ophthalmologists. What is achieved with this eye exam is to measure the visual acuity of the children. It can be done at very young ages and the guarantees of success in the diagnosis are high.
This ophthalmologic review follows a very simple process. The specialist shows the child a series of drawings that the child will recognize easily. First of all, the images are shown in large size, to find out if the child identifies them all and then shows each drawing in smaller sizes.
Pigassou test with recognizable drawings for the child in different sizes.
The patient must tell what he sees in each of the images and the ophthalmologist will analyze his expression and the gestures he makes. Obviously, the difficulty increases considerably during each round, which will offer the specialist some clues about children’s visual acuity.
The examination will be done about 4 or 5 meters away from the images and is carried out first with one eye and then with the other. It can be established that there is a visual problem if the child does not correctly identify any of the images.
E-test of Snellen
It is known as S de Snellen another visual test, especially indicated for children. The procedure of the ophthalmological examination is similar to the one carried out with the Pigassou test, but in this case, instead of several different figures, only the letter “E” is shown to the child.
Something curious is that it is not necessary for the child to identify the letter or understand what the drawings show. The ophthalmologist will show the letter “E” in several positions and the child will have to indicate the orientation of the same.
E-test of Snellen
Test E of Snellen where the child should indicate the direction of the “legs” of the figure.
If the ophthalmologic examination is being performed on a very small child, you may be asked to indicate with your thumb which side of the letter you see. As in the previous case, this eye test is done first for one eye and then for the other.
Visual preference test
The latest visual infant test is indicated for very small patients. It is usually carried out in children between 6 months and 2 years of age. Therefore, it is very likely that it will be carried out during the first review of the child’s vision, which is recommended to be carried out at very young ages.
The exam consists of teaching the child some sheets that have black and white stripes on a gray background. The strips are getting thinner, so there comes a time when the child stops following them with his eyes. The specialist observes the child through a hole, to check that follows the look of the sequence of images. When the patient stops turning the head, the visual acuity of the child can be determined.