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Dr. Burke is one of Cincinnati’s most trusted resources concerning vision screening in children.
What is vision screening?
Most vision screenings are designed to check the child’s eyesight. Vision screening is an efficient and cost effective “safety net” method to identify children with visual impairment so that a referral may be made with a pediatric ophthalmologist for further evaluation and, if necessary, proper treatment.
Where are vision screenings performed?
During most healthy checkups, your primary care practitioner performs an eye and vision screening that is appropriate for the child’s age. School vision screening should also be done yearly. Vision screenings are not intended nor should they be assumed to replace a thorough examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
What parents need to know about visual acuity testing?
Subjective visual acuity testing means asking a child to tell you what they see. To obtain measurements that are accurate requires a cooperative individual. The child must give their best effort and the examiner must be sure they are testing each eye separately and making sure the child does not peek with the other eye. Without these requirements, there will be many “false positive” results. “False positive” refers to the measurements not accurately representing the child’s maximum potential. With the proper amount of encouragement and patience, most children 3 years and older are able to cooperate.
What should you do if your child he fails a vision screening?
About 4% of children have a serious eye problem and up to another 10% have decreased vision due only to a refractive error that could be corrected by glasses. Therefore, if a child fails a vision screening or if the parents or primary care practitioner suspects there may be another problem with the eyes, it is reasonable and appropriate for your child to have an eye examination with a pediatric ophthalmologist.