What Is Vision Screening?

Snellen Eye Chart

A vision screening is a set of simple vision tests and assessments that help identify people who may have certain eye problems. Often performed by pediatricians, school nurses, assisted living caregivers and other healthcare professionals and volunteers, vision screening usually includes the use of the "Big E" or "Snellen" chart.

A vision screening may also include vision testing of your eye's reaction to light, muscle coordination, or by viewing simple images and graphs that could reveal colorblindness or other hidden problems. The vision testing you take to get your driver's license is actually an example of a vision screening.

Community health organizations, public schools, wellness clinics, and assisted living facilities often offer vision screening as part of their services. Given at important intervals in life, such as early childhood, pre-teen years, and as you age, vision screening can help monitor the quality of your vision, and possibly identify common vision problems. Most importantly, children and the elderly should be seen more often – as changes in the eye are more profound in both age groups.

Please note that these relatively simple vision screenings are not a substitute for a comprehensive vision test given by an eye doctor. While vision screenings take place in a wide range of suitable locations, the more extensive vision tests take place as part of a visit to your eye doctor.

It's important that you know the difference between screening and testing as well as know what to expect from your visit with your eye doctor. We want you to be prepared with the information you need so that you can be better prepared to take an active role in the care and health of your eyes.

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