Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Eye Examinations and Visual Screening

When are eye examinations necessary?

Child having eye exam

Children are different than adults in that a child's brain develops more rapidly. Any problems a child may experience with his/her vision may disrupt the development of visual pathways to the brain. A critical stage of visual development occurs between birth and age three to four months, during which time the brain must receive clear visual messages from both eyes. Early detection and treatment can prevent loss of vision, learning difficulties, and delayed development.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended the following screening stages:

  • Newborn. All newborns are examined in the nursery for eye infections, abnormal light reflexes, and other eye disorders, such as cataracts.

  • Six months. Visual screening of infants should be performed during the well-baby visits, particularly checking for how the eyes work together.

  • Three to four years. Formal visual acuity tests and the complete eye examination should be performed.

  • Five years and older. Annual visual screening tests by the pediatricians and eye examinations as necessary.

Children often cannot tell you when they are having problems with their vision. Visual screening helps to identify those children who may need further eye examinations and testing. The earlier the detection of vision problems, the more successful the treatment. Always discuss eye examinations and visual screening with your child's doctor.

Eye Examinations and Visual Screening - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J., OD, FAAO
Online Medical Reviewer: Grantham, Paula, RN, BSN
Last Review Date: 2013-03-28T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2013-04-05T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2013-04-05T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.