The American Optometric Association recommends children receive their first eye exam between 6 to 12 months of age, then at least once between 3 and 5 years of age, and once more before first grade and then annually or as recommended by their eye care provider thereafter. 

Vision screenings can uncover some vision problems, but they can miss more than they find. Vision screening programs can’t substitute for regular professional vision care. Comprehensive eye examinations are the only effective way to confirm or rule out any eye disease or vision problem.

Current vision screening methods cannot be relied on to effectively identify individuals who need vision care. In some cases, vision screening may actually inhibit the early diagnosis of vision problems. Screenings can create a false sense of security for those individuals who “pass” the screening but who actually have a vision problem.

Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to learn in school and participate in sports. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less it will impact an individual’s quality of life.

Limitations of Vision Screening Programs

Limited testing. Many vision screenings test only for distance visual acuity. While the ability to see clearly in the distance is important, it does not indicate how well the eyes focus up close or work together. It also does not give any information about the health of the eyes. Some screenings may also include a plus lens test for farsightedness and a test of eye coordination. However, even these additional screening tests will miss many vision problems.

Untrained personnel. Often, administrative personnel or volunteers who have little training conduct a vision screening. While well-intentioned, these individuals do not have the knowledge to competently assess screening results.

Inadequate testing equipment. Even when done in a pediatrician’s or primary care physician’s office, the scope of vision screening may be limited by the type of testing equipment available. Factors such as room lighting, testing distances and maintenance of the testing equipment can also affect test results.

A young boy smiles as he get's his vision prescription adjusted by a device worn on his head.
Young girl getting an eye exam from a medical machine.
Dr. Lorencz is examining a baby boys eye with a medical lens
A baby boy is held by his father in the exam chair for his first eye exam

But how do you do eye exams on babies?

Glad you asked! We get this question a lot.

We have special tests made for non-verbal patients. All they need to do is be able to look ahead at an interesting target or light and we can determine eye alignment, prescription, eye health, and more. Wahla!

We’re a Proud Partner of InfantSEE

InfantSEE is a public health initiative to provide FREE eye health assessments to infants between 6 to 12 months of age.

According to the American Optometric Association, babies should have their first exam around six months of age. By this age, babies should be able to focus, see color and have depth perception. Optometrists will make sure their eyes are developing normally, checking for signs of near or farsightedness, lazy eye, crossed eyes or severe cases such as cancer.

Early intervention is critical for successful treatment. Despite the nation’s present system of preschool vision screening, there exists a lack of understanding by the public of the importance of periodic professional eye and vision assessments. It is estimated that one in five preschoolers has vision problems that can interfere with learning and behavior.

An InfantSEE assessment between 6 and 12 months of age is recommended to determine if an infant is at risk for eye or vision disorders. Since many eye problems arise from conditions that can be identified by an eye doctor in the infant’s first year of life, a parent can give an infant a great gift by seeking an InfantSEE assessment in addition to the wellness evaluation of the eyes that is done by a pediatrician or family practice doctors.

A happy mother holds her smiling baby close in her arms.
A baby boy wearing neon blue glasses looks off in the distance

Schedule your Exam today.

Save time by scheduling online. If that's not your style, give us a call.