What is a vision screening?

A vision screening is a simple method to check eyesight or ability to see clearly. A vision screening is used to identify those with possible vision problems and refer them for further vision assessment and eye care. A vision screening does not replace the need for a complete eye examination by an eye doctor.


What are some indicators of vision problems in children?1

·         Blinking more than usual

·         Frequently rubbing the eyes

·         Seeming to attempt to brush away blurry vision

·         Squinting

·         Tilting the head when looking at objects

·         Light sensitivity

·         Inflamed, red or watery eyes

·         Stumbling over small objects


Why is it important for children to be screened for eye and vision problems at an early age?

Early detection and treatment of visual problems is very important to prevent permanent problems with seeing and processing visual information.


Amblyopia or "lazy eye" is a vision disorder which first occurs in childhood if the brain receives abnormal or unequal visual input from the eyes because one or both eyes are not aligned properly, disease blocks light passing into the eyes or being correctly focused on the back of the eye (retina) or the two eyes do not focus or see equally.Amblyopia effects 3-5% of all American children and is the leading cause of childhood blindness in one eye. If left untreated, it can cause long-term problems with learning, self-esteem, social development and future opportunities.2  

Fortunately, amblyopia can be treated if detected early in a child's life. Since this condition is not easily detected by parents and caregivers, it is important that children have their eyes screened with proper tools at an early preschool age. 


*Check with your physician or health care provider before making any changes in your diet or health care routine. This information is not intended to replace a one- on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

1.       Adapted from

2.       Adapted from Lions Comprehensive Preschool Vision Screening Program: An LCIF Core 4 Grant Funding Opportunity:


--Jennifer L. Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE

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