School vision screening is not a diagnostic process or a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor, but it is an important element of a comprehensive public health approach to vision care. Through vision screening, it is hoped that more people in need will seek care and ultimately receive comprehensive eye exams and care needed.

How accurate are school screenings?

It depends. School screenings are always limited by who is performing them, what instruments are being used, and how attentive the patient is to the task. Due to the bulky and heavy nature of some optometrists equipment, we cannot bring all of them to school screenings. We therefore only take instruments with us that provide a general insight into what's going on, whether it's the health of the eye, a potential prescription, or a potential eye teaming problem.

Despite our best efforts, we are limited by our resources. We are also limited by the people we can send. Many times the people who are doing the screenings have been trained to use the tools that they're using, but our eye care professionals at Amplify EyeCare are trained to look for some of the more subtle problems. 

We see many problems in the office, such as farsightedness, which we can deal with in the office by giving drops that relax the eye to the fullest extent possible so we catch a lot of hidden farsightedness. At school screenings, we can't normally dilate the eyes, which is the problem.

In addition, we have the autorefractor, which estimates based on light that goes into the eye and bounces back. That technology does have some limitations, however. 

Why is it important to have a comprehensive eye exam?

School screenings can be helpful, as they help catch some of the more blatant eye problems. If you feel that your child is experiencing any symptoms, or perhaps a teacher has noticed some symptoms in your child, or maybe you have noticed some symptoms in your child, you should visit us at Amplify EyeCare and get an eye exam from our behavioral optometrist Dr. Nathaniel Wernick FCOVD, who can assess more than just what the machine tells you in school.

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