First, it is important to verify exactly what the screening included at school. Most are simply a test to see where the child can read on the eye chart. The typical failure criteria is vision worse than 20/30. This means that if your child can see 20/30, he or she is passed. Ask your eye doctor to demonstrate to you exactly what 20/30 vision looks like through trial lenses. Guaranteed, you would not be happy with 20/30 vision if that was the best you could see. Also, simple 20/20 vision does not mean perfect eyes. The visual system should be thought of as a complex optical instrument, not only including the eyes, but the visual pathways through the brain to the sight center and how the information is processed. There is also a complex mechanism which controls eye movement and alignment. Just because a person can read the bottom line on the eye chart does not necessarily mean the eyes are working as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Also, screenings only test for nearsightedness. A person who is farsighted will be tested as having 20/20 vision, but may have terrible eyestrain when reading. The school nurse and her volunteers work as hard as possible to identify those children who may have vision problems. However, their time and equipment is limited. A Comprehensive Eye Examination with a trained doctor of Optometry is a simple, inexpensive way to be 100% certain that your child is seeing as best as possible.
No, a vision screening performed by your pediatrician or the school nurse is not a complete eye exam. These vision screenings are designed to alert parents to the possibility of a visual problem and do not take the place of a visit to the eye doctor. Studies even show that these vision screenings may miss sight-threatening eye conditions.If a visual dysfunction is part of your child's learning difficulty, special lenses or vision therapy may help. Should your child's visual function not be an issue, ask your eye care practitioner for referrals to the appropriate specialists. Visit your family doctor or pediatrician as well for more information on diagnosing your child.
No, it is not enough. School vision screenings simply determine how well your child sees an eye chart from 20 feet away. A screening may show that your child has 20/20 vision, but that tells you nothing about the health of their entire visual system, or how your child processes the information they receive visually.Children should have their vision tested each year. A child doesn't know that having problems seeing across the room, seeing double, or not being able to focus on things up close, is abnormal. It is easy to confuse a school vision screening with an eye examination, but they are not the same thing.A comprehensive examination performed by a Doctor of Optometry is the best way to diagnose and prevent vision learning disorders in your child.
A vision screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam, because vision screenings generally test for distance acuity, or what a child can see at a distance of 20 feet. It does not test for eye function disorders and may miss astigmatism or blurred vision. A child who receives a 20/20 vision test result does not necessarily mean he or she can see to read.