What is the difference between a pediatric vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam?

Or in other words, what is the difference between having your child’s vision checked at your pediatricians’ office versus your optometrists’ office?

Generally, vision screenings detect overt vision problems such as drastically reduced vision abnormal pupillary light reflexes, leukocoria or eye muscle imbalances. 

A comprehensive eye exam provide an in-depth assessment of the visual system and outline a distinct treatment plan to optimize your child’s vision. 

20/20 does not mean your child has no vision problems, as your child may have subtle focusing difficulties that are not measured by simply testing visual acuity (the vision chart). 

Vision screenings can be helpful in certain situations, but it is always prudent to have your child’s vision examined with a comprehensive examination at your optometrist. The American Optometric Association recommends:

  • Infant exam: between 6-12 months 

  • Preschoolers: one exam between 3-5 years

  • School-aged children: prior to entering school and annually thereafter 


For more information, please visit the AOA. Click here

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