With many states starting school year earlier, August is the new September! In preparation for back-to-school, make sure to schedule your child's comprehensive eye exam. Many children also get an annual vision screening at their school or at the pediatricians office. However, vision screening is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam.
What is the difference between a vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?
Vision screenings are mostly intended to identify children who may have undetected vision problems. If a problem is identified, they are often referred to an Optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam.
Vision screening is not the same as a comprehensive eye exam
o Vision screenings can cover some vision problems.
o Most vision screenings only test vision acuity at a distance. It is just as important to make sure eyes can focus up close and work together.
o School vision screening sometimes are conducted by administrative personnel who have little training.
o Passing a vision screening does not mean that a comprehensive eye exam is not warranted.
Comprehensive Eye Exam:
Comprehensive eye exam is performed by an Optometrist or an Ophthalmologist who have specialized training to diagnose and treat vision problems. A comprehensive eye exam can include:
o Patient and family ocular and medical history
o Visual acuity measurement
o Color vision test
o Depth perception test
o Peripheral vision test
o Refractive error assessment (to determine presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism)
o Evaluation of eyes ability to work together and focus
o Eye health evaluation
Even if your child passes a vision screening, a comprehensive eye exam is still warranted. The American Optometric Association recommends the following frequency of eye and vision examinations by age.
Birth to 24 hours At 6 months of age
2 to 5 years At 3 years of age
6 to 18 months Before first grade and then annual
Help your children have a successful school year by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam.