Children’s Eye Problems
Failed Vision Screening
Your child’s vision may be screened at the primary care physician’s office or at school. For a given age, there is a visual acuity standard that each eye must meet, and if either or both eyes do not meet that criterion, then the child is referred for eye evaluation. If your child fails a vision screening and is referred to an eye doctor, it is very important to keep the appointment. Your child may have failed a vision screening because she was having a bad day, or was distracted, and the vision may turn out to be entirely normal when measured at the ophthalmologist’s office. Perhaps the vision screening was accurate and yet the problem may be as simple as mild nearsightedness, which may require no treatment at all. However, a failed vision screening has to be assumed to represent a real problem until proven otherwise. Significant problems that can be detected by vision screening include amblyopia, significant refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism), which could affect your child’s school performance, or even more serious eye problems or neurologic problems. If your child fails a vision screening, it is important to follow up with an ophthalmologist: better safe than sorry.