Vision Screening and Eye Exams for Children and Teens

Overview

All children need routine vision checks and eye examinations with their pediatrician or family doctor.

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) recommends screening (tests) to detect lazy eye (amblyopia), misaligned eyes (strabismus), and defects in visual acuity in children younger than 5 years of age.footnote 1

Eye examinations by a specialist (an ophthalmologist or optometrist) are recommended if a child of any age has:

  • A family history of eye problems, especially genetic eye diseases.
  • Signs of misaligned eyes, lazy eye, or nearsightedness.
  • A red, swollen, or cloudy eye.

Children and teens with a disease that affects the eyes can follow the eye examination and vision testing schedule for all children. It's best that they see an eye doctor (specialist) for their eye care.

At least once a year, most eye doctors want to check the vision of children and teens who have refractive errors that impact their sight. If nearsightedness is severe or quickly gets worse in a child, the child will need examinations more often.

References

Citations

  1. Community Paediatrics Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society (2009). Vision screening in infants, children and youth. Paediatrics and Child Health, 14(4): 246–248. Available online: http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/cp/cp09-02.htm

Credits

Current as of: April 29, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine