• What does my daughter's vision screening fail mean?


    Question:

    My daughter had her 3-year well checkup yesterday. Her pediatrician’s nurse gave her a vision screening test. The test came back saying that she failed the sphere portion of the test. She said I need to take her to a specialist. I later asked what the results were and how bad it was. He stated that it was only a screening test and it only gives a "pass" or "fail" and didn't measure severity. Can you provide any insight into this test and what it might mean?


    Answer:

    It sounds as if this was an instrument-based screening. The test determines if the child has significant farsighted (hyperopia) refractive error, that could lead to amblyopia (decreased vision in one or both eyes) or strabismus (misaligned eyes). It doesn't take too much farsightedness to fail the test, so many children who do fail will not actually be treated but rather monitored. It is very important to have your child checked by an ophthalmologist if she failed the screening test.