Home Resources | Infographic: Vision screening vs. eye exam

What’s the difference between eye exams and vision screenings?

vision screening vs eye exams infographic

Vision screenings and eye exams play an important role in kids’ vision and eye health

Vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams are both essential to your child’s vision health. However, the two are not interchangeable. 

Vision screenings given at school can provide initial information about your child’s vision. But a thorough exam is needed in order to treat or correct any problems found in a screening.

Click on the infographic below to read why the two are important and the distinctions between the two:



Vision problems in children are common, especially myopia. Vision screenings are a helpful tool in detecting these problems. But they are entirely limited in correcting them. 

A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to officially diagnose a vision problem and determine the best treatment or correction. This goes for refractive errors such as myopia that require eyeglasses, as well as eye alignment problems and serious eye diseases.

SEE RELATED: Eye exams: 5 reasons why they are important

With childhood myopia rates on the rise, the American Optometric Association highlights the importance of early intervention through annual eye exams. American Optometric Association. March 2019.

School-aged vision: 6 to 18 years of age. American Optometric Association. Accessed January 2022. 

Evidence-based clinical practice guideline: Comprehensive pediatric eye and vision examination. American Optometric Association. July 2017. 

Vision screening guidelines by age. National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, Prevent Blindness. Accessed January 2022. 

Eye screening for children. American Academy of Ophthalmology. March 2021. 

Vision screenings and eye exams. Prevent Blindness. Accessed January 2022.

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