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Wyoming Vision Collaborative

Dept 4298, 1000 E University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2761

Toll Free: 1-888-989-9463

TeleType: 1-800-908-7011

Fax: (307) 766-2763

Email: wyvision@uwyo.edu

Vision Collaborative Logo

Wyoming Vision Collaborative

Why should I have my child screened?

Vision impairment can affect how a child learns. Young children rely on all of their senses to explore and interact with their environment. Early learning experiences are vital to the overall development of young children. Refractive errors causing blurred vision (like nearsightedness and farsightedness) are found in up to 21% of children and strabismus (“eye turn”) is diagnosed in 3% of the early childhood population. A small child has no experience to know they do not see well.

When children experience visual difficulties and those difficulties are left untreated, they may result in amblyopia. Approximately 2% of young children have amblyopia (“lazy eye”). If left untreated, it can cause lifelong visual deficits and limitation in functional abilities. Success of treatment is most successful for children six years old and younger.

Children who are 3, 4, and 5 years old should be screened once per year.

image of girl showing just one eye close up

What is the difference between a vision screening and an eye exam?

It is very important to understand that vision screenings are not the same as comprehensive eye examinations nor do they replace eye exams. While vision screenings may be used to detect the possibility of a serious vision or eye health problem, they cannot diagnose a health condition. Screenings can indicate the need for a comprehensive eye examination. Exams are done by eye doctors (optometrists and ophthalmologists). Only qualified medical professionals can diagnose and treat vision disorders. 

Because some conditions place a child at higher risk for a vision disorder, some children should not be screened, but instead receive an eye exam. Children who should be automatically referred include those who:

  • Have a neurodevelopmental disorder (for example, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome) or systemic disease

  • Use medications known to cause eye disorders

  • Have a first-degree relative with strabismus or amblyopia

  • Were born at less than 32 weeks gestation

  • Have an observable sign of a potential eye problem

  • Have parents who suspect they have a vision issue

How can my child participate in vision screenings?

Regional Child Development Centers (CDCs) and some participating Lions Clubs in your community offer free vision screening. Parents or child service providers can contact their local Child Developmental Center (CDC) or Lions Club to arrange for a screening.
Privacy Practices
The Wyoming Vision Collaborative vision screening program adheres to the privacy practices for protected health information. For more information regarding and to see our full notice, please download NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES FOR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION.
 

For more information about the data and recommendations above, please see:
Cotter, S., Cyert, L., Miller, J., & Quinn, G. for the National Expert Panel to the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health. (2015). Vision Screening for Children 36 to <72 Months: Recommended Practices. Optometry and Vision Science, 92(1), 6-16. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274336/

National Center for Children’s Vision & Eye Health at Prevent Blindness. (2016). Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues. Prevent Blindness. Retrieved from http://www.preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/Children%27s_Vision_Chartbook.pdf


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Wyoming Vision Collaborative

Dept 4298, 1000 E University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2761

Toll Free: 1-888-989-9463

TeleType: 1-800-908-7011

Fax: (307) 766-2763

Email: wyvision@uwyo.edu

Vision Collaborative Logo

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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