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Vision and Hearing Screenings

Last updated: February 27, 2020

Vision Test


Vision Screening or Comprehensive Eye Exam: 
Know the Difference

  • Vision Screening: A short examination that can indicate the presence of a potential vision problem. It cannot diagnose exactly what is wrong with a child’s eyes.
  • Comprehensive Eye Examination: Generally lasts 30 to 60 minutes and is performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Doctors review medical and visual history; conduct additional testing; diagnose a vision problem; provide treatment; and refer patient to another doctor or specialist, if needed.

Children are referred for a comprehensive eye exam when they do not pass vision screening. Those who pass may also be referred if they are at a high risk of having a vision disorder because of a medical or developmental reason.



Common Vision Impairments and Potential Educational Impact

ImpairmentDefinition
Amblyopia or lazy eyeAbnormal development of connection between the brain and eyes
AstigmatismIrregular shape of the cornea or lens
Hyperopia or farsightednessNearby objects are blurry, far objects are in focus
Myopia or nearsightednessFar objects are blurry, nearby objects are in focus
Strabismus or wandering eyeEye misalignment, oriented in different directions

Signs/Symptoms of Vision Impairments: Double vision, Blurred vision, Glare or halo, around light, Headaches, Dizziness, Nausea, Eye strain (tearing, burning, redness), Squinting or head turning, Closing one eye, Excessive blinking and Fatigue.

Impart of Impairments: Reduced attention span, Difficulty reading or doing close-up work, Difficulty reading or copying from board, Poor motor skills/hand-eye coordination, Impaired depth perception, Learning difficulties, Difficulty working from computer and Negative self-image.



High Risk Groups for Vision Impairments

Both genetic factors, including family history, and environmental factors play a role in the development of vision disorders.  The presence of some vision disorders increases the likelihood of developing other vision disorders such as strabismus and amblyopia.

A number of neuro-developmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders, are also associated with higher rates of visual problems.

The most significant preventable risk factor in children is maternal smoking. Children of women who smoked during pregnancy have higher rates of strabismus, hyperopia and astigmatism.



Local Low-Cost Vision Resources

America’s Best Contacts
and Eyeglasses

150 S. Jennifer Road
Annapolis, MD 21401

443-321-0367
Anne Arundel Eye Center 
127 Lubrano Drive, Suite 301
Annapolis, MD 21401

410-224-2010
Mark Preslan, M.D.
(Pediatric Ophthalmologist) 

7671 Quarterfield Road
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

443-572-0655
LensCrafters 
7900 Ritchie Highway
Marley Station Mall
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

410-766-2411
Lions Club 
Email: edgwtrcarol@aol.com
410-263-6311
Maryland Society for Sight 
1313 W. Old Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21209

410-243-2020
Ophthalmology Associates
of Greater Annapolis 

John Avallone, M.D.
83 Church Road
Arnold, MD 21012

410-757-2778
Peepers Family Eyecare 
139 Richie Highway, Suite B
Severna Park, MD 21146

410-544-7417
Walmart Super Center – Optical Center 
407 George Claus Boulevard
Severn, MD 21144

410-582-9949


Medical Assistance Program Enrollment and Resources:

Medical Assistance for Families (MCHP)Health Care
Enrollment Assistance
Administrative Care Coordination (ACC)
410-222-4791410-222-7381410-222-7541


School Vision and Hearing Screening Calendar

Anne Arundel County Department of Health vision and hearing technicians and school nurses conduct mandated vision and hearing screenings in public schools each year. The screenings are for children in preschool, kindergarten, first and eighth grade, and for students new to Anne Arundel County schools. Special education students receiving speech therapy may also be recommended for screening. Department vision and hearing technicians also administer vision and hearing screenings at private schools, nurseries and day care programs to ensure that the appropriate children are screened.

Children who wear glasses should bring them to school on the day of the screening. School vision and hearing screenings will be at the following locations in March:

  • March 2 – Arundel High Odenton Elementary
  • March 3 – Davidsonville Elementary
  • March 4  – Jones Elementary Severn Elementary
  • March 5 – George Fox Middle
  • March 6 – Crofton Woods Elementary
  • March 9 – Bodkin Elementary
  • March 11 – Severna Park High
  • March 12 – Broadneck Elementary
  • March 13 – Monarch Global Academy
  • March 17 – Broadneck High
  • March 19 – Crofton Elementary

Children are screened in order to detect vision or hearing problems that may impair a child’s ability to perform successfully in school. If a potential deficiency is detected, a letter is sent to the parents informing them of the results. If a child does not pass the vision screening, the child is referred for a comprehensive eye exam. The parents are advised to contact the child’s doctor for further testing and advice. Those who pass may also be referred for a comprehensive eye exam if they are at a high risk of having a vision disorder because of a medical or developmental reason.

Here is information on common vision impairments, the potential educational impact and high risk groups.

For more information on the School Vision and Hearing Program, call Kim Roussey, vision and hearing technician supervisor, at  410-222-6838.

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