Many school systems have regular vision screening programs that are carried out by volunteer professionals, school nurses, and/or properly trained laypersons. Screening can be done quickly, accurately, and with minimum expense by one of these individuals. The screener should not have a vested interest in the screening outcome. As with all screening programs, vision screening should be performed in a fashion that maximizes the rate of problem detection while minimizing unnecessary referrals and cost. Beginning in the preschool years, those conditions which can be detected by a vision screening using an acuity chart are reduced vision in one or both eyes from amblyopia, uncorrected refractive errors or other eye defects and, in most cases, misalignment of the eyes (called strabismus).
Good vision is essential for proper physical development and educational progress in growing children. The visual system in the young child is not fully mature. Equal input from both eyes is required for the proper development of the visual centers in the brain. If a growing child’s eye does not provide a clear focused image to the developing brain, then permanent irreversible loss of vision may result. Early detection provides the best opportunity for effective, inexpensive treatment. The physicians at EyeHealth Northwest are trained to detect and treat these conditions. In addition, we have three Fellowship-trained Pediatric Ophthalmologists available for treatment, consultation, and second opinions.