Why Pediatric Eye Exams Are Better Than In-school Vision Screenings

Most people do not realize that kids do not always know that they cannot see well. Most of them assume that everyone sees the way they do. Vision screenings can help determine when a child needs to see an eye doctor. However, the screenings do not reveal everything about the child’s vision and eye health. This is where eye exams come in. Pediatric eye exams are comprehensive and conducted in an eye clinic.  


School Vision Screening 


Vision screenings are performed to determine whether the child can see well. They can help identify children with a high risk of developing vision disorders. Vision problems can affect the child’s ability to learn, socialize, play sports, and grow emotionally. 


The screeners inspect the eyes for signs of vision problems. They also use digital instruments or charts to check the vision. However, they cannot determine if the child has a visual or eye disorder. Vision screenings cannot replace a comprehensive pediatric eye exam. 


Comprehensive Eye Exams


Ophthalmologists or optometrists perform comprehensive eye exams. The eye specialists conduct thorough testing, including vision screenings and tests to evaluate eye health. Children can have undetected vision issues that can lead to difficulty reading, seeing clearly, or keeping pace. A vision screening cannot detect these issues. 


The specialists look for eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and detached retina. Regular eye exams are vital, regardless of the child’s visual acuity. 


Importance of Pediatric Eye Exams


Many children pass in-school vision screenings, yet they have undiagnosed vision issues. It means your child needs an eye exam even if he/she passed a vision screening. Vision screenings cannot replace a comprehensive pediatric eye exam. 


Early detection can lead to the treatment of most vision issues. There is a direct link between undetected visual health issues and poor school performance.


Difference Between Vision Screenings and Eye Exams


The main difference between vision screenings and pediatric eye exams is the equipment and the complexity of the examination. Vision screenings can help determine whether the child requires further eye examination or needs a referral. 


After an eye exam, the specialist can make a diagnosis and recommend treatment for any eye health issue. The exams usually require dilation of the pupils to check for early signs of eye disease. 


Detecting Health Issues


Unlike vision screenings, eye exams can help detect health issues. The depth of the exam allows the specialists to examine the internal ocular structure. The exams can help detect signs of health conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and more. 


Good vision is essential for a child’s success in school. It is crucial to detect and correct eye issues before they interfere with the child’s learning. School vision screenings have their place, but they are not enough to establish your child’s eye health. If not treated, ocular conditions can affect the child right into adulthood. 


For more on why pediatric exams are better than in-school vision screenings, call TMS Eyecare at our Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas offices. Call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 to schedule an appointment today.