Vision screenings are limited eye tests that help identify people who are at risk for vision problems. These are the brief vision tests performed by the school nurse, a pediatrician, other health care providers or volunteers.
The eye test that you take when you get your driver’s license renewed is an example of a vision screening.
Depending on who is performing the test and where the test is given, vision screenings may include tests for blur, muscle coordination and/or common eye diseases.
Keep in mind that a vision screening can indicate that you need to get your eyes checked, but it does not serve as a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam.
A comprehensive eye examination is performed by an eye doctor and includes careful testing of all aspects of your vision. Based on the results of your exam, your eye doctor can recommend a treatment plan suited to your individual needs.
Remember, only an optometrist or ophthalmologist can provide a comprehensive eye exam — family physicians and pediatricians are not fully trained to do this, and studies have shown that they can miss important vision problems that require treatment.