A vision screening is NOT the same as an eye exam. Vision screens check basic vision. Eye exams check vision, eye coordination, eye muscle movement, eye pressures, and most importantly eye health. A vision screen WILL NOT tell you if your eyes are healthy, and let's face it, the health of our eyes is what we need most.
Parents should be aware of these 10 signs that a child is having vision problems:
Schedule an appointment with an Optometrist if your child exhibits any of these signs. A visit with the doctor may reveal that your child has myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism. These common refractive errors are easily corrected when caught early. Children should have an eye exam by by 6 months old, then annually thereafter. Frequent eye exams are important because your child's eyes, prescription and eye health can change frequently. Your eye care practitioner also will ensure that your child has the visual skills required for success in school and other activities such as accurate and comfortable eye teaming, peripheral vision, ease of focusing from distance to near and hand-eye coordination.
The Problem With Vision Screenings
Keep in mind that a vision screening performed by your pediatrician or the school nurse IS NOT a comprehensive eye exam. These screenings are designed to alert parents to the possibility of a visual problem, but not take the place of a visit to an Optometrist.
Vision screenings are helpful, but they can miss serious vision problems that your Optometrist would catch. Studies have found that up to 11 percent of children who pass a vision screening actually have a vision problem that needs treatment. Children who fail vision screenings often don't get the vision care they need due to poor communication with parents and missed diagnoses. The best way to make sure your child has good vision and healthy eyes is to schedule a routine comprehensive eye exam with Milton Optometry who specializes in children's vision.