Vision Screenings vs. Eye Exams: Why Are Eye Exams Important?

How important is it to have an eye exam routine? Do you still need an eye exam after passing a vision screening at school or work?

We have compiled a few vital differences that exist between eye exams and vision screenings and the various reasons why eye exams are very crucial even after passing a vision screening.

Vision screenings are different from eye exams

Vision screenings are not as thorough as a complete eye examination. While screenings take just a few minutes and are carried out by volunteers who are not necessarily professionals, an eye exam is the complete opposite.

Many at times, vision screenings are just a visual acuity test in which you are asked to identify the smallest letters your eye can see across the room.

The eye doctor will usually discuss the results of the comprehensive eye exam with you and then offer you treatment options that are suitable to your needs.

Major vision problems can be detected as fast as possible with vision screenings and they are generally ineffective in identifying vision problems that are more subtle and are potentially sight-robbing diseases of the eye.

When you obtain 20/40 as a score in an eye exam, you are advised to see an eye doctor so that the vision problem can be diagnosed and treated with contact lenses eyeglasses, medicine and in extreme cases, surgery.

Eye exams are usually carried out by licensed ophthalmologists or optometrists and they usually evaluate not just the eye acuity but the entire eye health. They check for signs of cataracts, detached retina, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Children also need Eye exams and vision screening

It is good for children to have good eyesight if they are truly going to reach their full academic potentials since all that they learn in school is presented visually. It has been shown by research that about 20% of preschool children usually have eye complications, therefore it is very important to ensure that your child has a normal vision development.

Passing A Vision Screening is not translated as having a perfect vision

The various shortcomings related with children eye exams include

  • Children with notable learning-related eyesight problems passing the school’s vision screenings with good scores.
  • Inadequate or absence of follow-up to make sure children who fail vision screenings actually have an eye exam
  • Vision screening test scores not being announced to Parents.
  • Poor consistency of screening results among different volunteers conducting the testing


It is good for older adults to have frequent eye exams

Older people should often go for a routine eye exam from time to time. This is very helpful in reducing cases of macular degenerations and diabetic retinopathy. As you get older, never take chances with your eyesight. Try as much as possible to seek for medical support early enough before it develops into conditions that are untreatable or blindness since many older people tend to have muscles that are weak. As you get older, it is important you have an eye exam once in every two years to arrest any form of medical complications due to advancement in age.