Undetected Vision Problems

1 in 4 children has an undetected vision problem.

Ten million American students have vision conditions that impact their education and social development. Is your child one of them?

Many parents assume that if their child can read the 20/20 line on an eye chart, during a screening or at the family eye doctor's office, then their child has perfect vision. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and why it is so important to have a comprehensive, dilated vision exam with one of the pediatric eye doctors at Artisan Pediatric Eyecare.

Let's begin by discussing the difference between “sight” (visual acuity) and “vision” (how the visual system functions).

  • Sight, or visual acuity, is tested by using an eye chart. This is when parents are thrilled to learn that their child can read the 20/20 line and told they have perfect vision.
  • Vision, or how the visual system functions, is evaluated by using a number of specialized tests and reveals the reason behind why a bright child may struggle or fail to reach their full potential developmentally, academically, or socially.
  • Vision is a primary sense. Up to 80% of learning, perception, and cognition is visual. This is one of the many reasons an evaluation with a pediatric vision specialist is so important and should not be overlooked.
  • Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition during childhood.
  • Below the age of 6, only about 14 percent of children are likely to have had an eye and vision examination.

Pediatricians provide a base-level vision screening. This does not replace a comprehensive, dilated vision assessment with a pediatric eye doctor.

Is your child “falling through the cracks?” An undetected vision problem can go undiagnosed for years. That is because untreated vision problems have many of the same symptoms as other conditions affecting children.


As parents search for answers, children are often diagnosed with ADHD, learning disabilities, told they have dyslexia, labeled a slow reader and told to increase reading time, or advised to seek the help of a tutor. It is not uncommon for the school to discuss “maturity issues” or “behavior problems” with parents. Often times this results in holding the child back a year in school, the recommendation of therapeutic interventions, or the implementation of an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) or a 504 plan.

Because each child is unique, and may have multiple underlying diagnoses, it is important to seek the care of professionals dedicated to their specific area of specialization. This multidisciplinary team approach will allow you, as a parent, to get the answers you need to the questions you have. More importantly, this approach means your child will receive the care they need.

We invite you to take the first step in ruling out an undiagnosed vision problem as a factor affecting your child. Please give us a call at 208-900-3336.​