Eye Examinations and Visual Screening
When are eye examinations necessary?
Children are different than adults in that a child's brain develops more rapidly. Any problems a child may experience with his/her vision may disrupt the development of visual pathways to the brain. A critical stage of visual development occurs between birth and age 3 to 4 months, during which time the brain must receive clear visual messages from both eyes. Early detection and treatment can prevent loss of vision, learning difficulties, and delayed development.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have recommended the following screening stages:
- newborn - All newborns are examined in the nursery for eye infections, abnormal light reflexes, and other eye disorders, such as cataracts.
- 6 months - Visual screening of infants should be performed during the well-baby visits, particularly checking for how the eyes work together.
- 3 to 4 years - Formal visual acuity tests and the complete eye examination should be performed.
- 5 years and older - Annual visual screening tests by the pediatricians and eye examinations as necessary.
The information on this Web page is provided for educational purposes. You understand and agree that this information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. You agree that Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital is not making a diagnosis of your condition or a recommendation about the course of treatment for your particular circumstances through the use of this Web page. You agree to be solely responsible for your use of this Web page and the information contained on this page. Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and information providers shall not be liable for any damages you may suffer or cause through your use of this page even if advised of the possibility of such damages.