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Screening vision in a child

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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vision screening in the UK

All children under 16 years old are eligible for free eye examination by an optometrist (1).

  • newborn screening (within 72 hours of birth and again at 6-8 weeks of age)
    • examination of eyes and red reflex
    • aim to identify periocular or ocular abnormality, particularly cataract

  • school entry screening (4-5 years of age)
    • the UK National Screening Committee recommends that screening of children’s eyes should continue to be offered to all children aged 4 -5 years
    • vision screening using optotype vision test, supervised by an orthoptist
    • although refractive error and strabismus would be detected by screening, amblyopia is the most likely condition to be detected in this age defined population (2)


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