Are School Vision Screenings Reliable?

Vision screenings are essential in the maintenance of eye health. School vision screenings, in particular, are important because children are often not aware of sight issues or know how to communicate their troubles. Routine vision screenings can detect problems before a child’s sight development is compromised. Once the medical professional identifies the problem, it can get further investigated in a comprehensive eye examination.

Currently, there is a requirement for school vision screenings to occur in 40 states for school-age children. Preschool vision screenings currently happen in 16 states. Screening methods vary from state to state, and as there is no national protocol for conducting the screenings, so it is possible that this method is unreliable.



What Does Vision Screening Consist Of?

A school nurse usually performs school vision screenings. The screening checks distance vision by assessing how well a child can read a chart from 20 feet away. Near vision, however, is not tested. Kindergarten boys usually receive a color-vision test in addition to the basic test, as they are more likely to have color blindness than girls.



Are There Any Issues That A Screening Can Overlook?

Unfortunately, there are many problems that a vision screening can miss. The exam checks for distance related reading and sight problems, but doesn’t check long-sightedness, or the ability to read a book. The screening also fails to detect eye coordination and binocular vision. Amblyopia, or “lazy eye” is a sight condition that involves lack of focus in one eye. The brain then learns to ignore visual input from the wandering lazy eye which can result in permanent vision loss if the problem is not corrected.

There is no standardized system in place to track school vision screenings, so therefore it can be difficult to track national progress about screening goals. It is also difficult to track whether a patient goes through further testing and diagnostic exams after a failed vision screening exam. A system is desperately needed to ensure that children are receiving the required tests and treatment following school screenings and that all children go through testing.

If a child cannot see properly, they cannot read, and their learning is compromised. Ten million school children in America have vision conditions that can impact learning. Many parents are reliant on vision screenings to assess whether comprehensive eye exams are needed.

school vision screenings


The Solution

School vision screenings are not thorough enough, is time-consuming, and is difficult to track. Depisteo has developed a cutting-edge device called the VT1 Vision Screener that can detect the main visual problems in under five minutes. The machine can validate patient responses, generate reports, and export data in just a few simple clicks. The tool can adapt to different user profiles such as optometrists, occupational and preventive health workers, driving license centers, and screening of school children.

School vision screenings should not be relied upon unless they involve the use of vision tester equipment such as VT1 Vision Screeners. They can be useful in diagnosing certain eye problems and conditions. However, school screening as it stands is not thorough enough to be the only port of preventative testing. Annual comprehensive eye exams are still required as they could help identify sight issues that a basic screening with school nurse tools could overlook. On a positive note, most conditions can be corrected once detected.


Contact Depisteo, the experts in medical screening devices, to find out more about the benefits that our innovative vision testing machines can provide.a