Incorporating vision screening and a basic eye examination in the primary care setting can be challenging. Determining which screening examination to perform and when to refer a patient to a pediatric eye care provider is critical.

After completing this article, readers should be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of vision screening and know what conditions can be detected by periodic eye examinations.

  2. Describe the components of a vision screening examination at different ages and plan an appropriate evaluation of vision.

  3. Recognize the indications for referral to pediatric ophthalmology.

Vision screening is crucial for early detection and prevention of vision loss in young children. Vision screening can be performed by primary care providers, trained laypersons (eg, school-based screenings), and eye care providers. Vision screening techniques are either provider-based (eg, traditional acuity testing, inspection, red reflex testing) or instrument-based. Instrument-based screening can often be performed at an earlier age than provider-based acuity...

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