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Pediatric Eye Exams

The Difference Between Reading a Chart at the Pediatrician’s and a Comprehensive Eye Exam

A vision screening by a child's pediatrician or at his or her preschool is not the same as a comprehensive eye examination. Vision screenings are a limited process and can't be used to diagnose an eye or vision problem. They do help indicate a potential need for further evaluation. Nonetheless, they may miss as many as 60% of children with vision problems. Even if a vision screening does not identify a possible vision problem, a child may still have one.

Passing a vision screening can give parents a false sense of security. Many preschool vision screenings only assess one or two areas of vision. They may not evaluate how well the child can focus his or her eyes or how well the eyes work together.

By age 3, your child should have a thorough optometric eye examination to make sure his or her vision is developing properly and there is no evidence of eye disease. 

Dr. Jennifer V. Seibert, Pediatric Residency Trained Optometrist, can prescribe treatment, including eyeglasses and/or vision therapy, to correct a vision development problem.

Healthy eyes and good vision play a critical role in how infants and children learn to see. Eye and vision problems in infants can cause developmental delays. It is important to detect any problems early to ensure babies have the opportunity to develop the visual abilities they need to grow and learn.

Parents play an important role in helping to assure their child's eyes and vision can develop properly. Steps that any parent should take include:

  • Seeking professional eye care with Dr. Jennifer V. Seibert starting with the first comprehensive vision assessment at about 6 months of age
  • Helping their child develop his or her vision by engaging in age-appropriate activities
  • Watching for signs of eye and vision problems

American Optometric Association, Preschool Vision: 2 to 5 Years of Age, Understanding the Difference Between a Vision Screening and a Vision Examination. Web. 4 March. 2015.

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