Pre-school vision screening should not negate the need for a comprehensive pre-school eye examination.
In Scotland, we are fortunate that all children receive a Pre-School Orthoptic Vision Screening (POVS) the year before starting school. These are helpful tests promoting early detection of vision problems in children, including a sight test (a test of how well your child can see), as well as identifying issues like a squint or a lazy eye. However, they do not replace the need for a full eye examination with an optometrist.
Here is what you can expect from a comprehensive eye examination (which is entirely free-of-charge):
- Medical history – a review of medical history, including a full family history as many eye conditions are genetic e.g. short-sightedness (myopia).
- Pre-screening – involving a series of tests using the highest standard of equipment, most importantly generating an image of the inside of the eye using advanced technology such as the Optos Daytona scanner.
- Visual acuity – testing vision at distance and close up, using letters or pictures depending on the age of the child.
- Refraction – measurement of prescription including specific tests for long and short sightedness as well as measuring any astigmatism.
- Binocular vision assessment – various tests and measures to see how eyes are working together and to check the prescription is balanced. Includes a range of fun tests.
- Slit lamp – microscopic exam of lids/lashes/cornea and front surface and chamber of the eye.
- Colour vision – to check for any colour deficiency (colour blindness) by looking at pictures in a book.
- Summary of findings – discussing all findings with both the child and their parents/carer. Explaining points and summarising at the end the main findings and recommendations. Allowing plenty of time to ask questions.
A thorough eye examination checks for vision, eye health and can also pick up several indicators where there might be a wider health issue apparent through these in-depth tests, making it all the more worthwhile.
So, if your child had their eye test at pre-school, firstly we hope all was fine, but please also ensure that they have a comprehensive eye examination at least every two years from around age four. It is free and at Cameron Optometry we provide the most thorough assessment available by an award-winning team of optometrists all of whom have extensive expertise in dealing with the most complex eye conditions, so your child will be in safe hands.
Book an appointment online or by calling 0131 225 2235, or email [email protected] with any questions.