New Patient

We are excited to meet your child and examine his or her vision! To help ensure that your first appointment goes as smoothly as possible, Dr. Carolyn Graeber has provided a summary of what you can expect at her Fort Collins office.

Preparing for and Arriving at Your First Appointment

You may make an appointment at Children’s Eye Care of Northern Colorado by scheduling online or calling 970-214-8175.

If you have downloaded and completed the initial paperwork (click here), you may arrive five minutes prior to your appointment. Families that have not filled out the paperwork should plan to show up 15 minutes early. Please be sure to bring your insurance card with you, as well as any snacks or entertainment your child may desire during their time in the waiting room. Some families opt to bring their child’s favorite pair of sunglasses, though we also can provide a temporary pair if you do not have any.

When you arrive, please check in with our amazing front desk staff, who will ensure that your paperwork and insurance information are in order. Soon, a technician will call you and your child to the back to begin initial testing. First appointments and annual visits generally last between one and a half to two hours, depending on the amount of testing required. Subsequent visits tend to be significantly shorter, usually around 45 minutes.

The Examination


Dilation is an essential component of examinations for new patients. The purpose of dilation is to open the pupil so that more light can enter the eye. This allows Dr. Graeber to complete a full evaluation of the structures inside the eye and take the best measurements for glasses if prescription lenses are ultimately needed.

Dilation does not hurt, but some kids notice some brief stinging when the drops are administered. For most children, it takes about 40 minutes for the drops to fully dilate the eyes. The effects of dilation typically wear off after about four to six hours. During that period, your child may experience blurry vision or some sensitivity to light. Dr. Graeber is happy to provide a doctor’s note to patients who need to be excused from the classroom or from homework.


After the initial examination is complete, the findings may warrant some additional testing. Potential tests include an in-depth evaluation of eye movements and cooperation, specialized pictures of the eye, visual field testing or ultrasound imaging of all or part of the eye.

Meeting with the Doctor

At the end of every appointment, Dr. Graeber will meet with the family to review test results, perform a specialized visualization of the child’s eye and discuss all relevant diagnoses and treatment plans. This is a great opportunity for parents to ask any questions they may have. However, if additional questions occur to you after this appointment, please do not hesitate to reach out: our office is happy to set up additional time with Dr. Graeber so that she may address any concerns.

Plan Your Next Appointment

Before leaving, visit the front desk to arrange a follow-up appointment. Dr. Graeber will recommend the optimal timeframe for that next appointment. If your child has a chronic condition that requires frequent monitoring, our team can work with you and your family to reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the office. The front desk is also where you can pick up prescription lenses for your child.

Read Our Blogs

Dr. Graeber has seen firsthand how informed parents make better decisions about their children’s eye health. To help families like yours stay educated, she maintains a blog about pediatric eye care with the latest research and treatments.

Contact Us


Children's Eye Care of Northern Colorado
2121 E. Harmony Rd, Suite 350A
Fort Collins, CO 80528

Phone:  (970) 214-8175 Fax: (970) 788-7376

Office Hours

Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday/Sunday - Closed

Ascent Eye Care
7162 Co Rd 154, Unit B
Salida, CO 81201

Phone:  (970) 214-8175 Fax: (970) 788-7376

Office Hours

Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturday/Sunday - Closed