Vision problems are common among children, with 19 million worldwide living with a vision disorder.1 Oftentimes, vision disorders have no noticeable symptoms,2 and as a result, children may not realize they see the world differently than others.3
Unfortunately, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health 2016–2017, only one in three children in the United States has received eye care services before the age of six.4 Uncorrected vision disorders can impact a child’s cognitive, emotional, neurological and physical development, potentially resulting in behavior problems, interference with early literacy and learning, and even permanent vision loss.5 Up to one in twenty children is at risk for permanent vision loss due to vision disorders like amblyopia.6 Many conditions, such as eye trauma, uncorrected refraction or brain disease, may negatively impact vision.7 Equal input from both eyes is vital for normal development of the visual system in babies and young children.8 A child’s vision may be permanently impaired if one or both eyes are unable to send clear images to the brain.8 Some of the most common disabling vision disorders among U.S. children are various refractive errors (e.g., myopia, hyperopia), amblyopia and strabismus.4
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Promote early detection of vision disorders.
Primary care providers, especially pediatricians, school nurses and Lions Club volunteers, play an important role in eye health as they have regular contact with children. Routine check-ups provide an excellent opportunity to assess vision and overall eye health to help promote early detection of vision disorders.
Adding an instrument-based vision screener, such as the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener, is proven to help screen more children and improve access to potentially vision-saving exams.6,7
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology (AAPOS), American Association of Certified Orthoptists (AACO) and AAO recommend instrument-based vision screening for children who are unable to perform a visual acuity chart test.9
Instrument-based vision screening is especially useful for:10
- All children ages 1-3 years who are usually unable to read a visual acuity chart.
- Some children ages 3-5 years who are unable to read an age-appropriate visual acuity chart.
- Other children with developmental disabilities who are unable to read a visual acuity chart.
Instrument-based vision screeners do not typically test visual acuity directly. Additionally, instrument-based vision screening should not replace comprehensive eye exams, as it does not detect eye diseases that are unrelated to refractive errors.9
How does the Welch Allyn® Spot® Vision Screener compare to GoCheck Kids™, PlusOptix™ and Blinq.®?
Below, we look at the instrument-based vision screening devices on the market today such as the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener, GoCheck Kids, PlusOptix and Blinq. When evaluating which device works best for you, it’s important to look for instrument-based vision screeners that are simple and easy to operate, have a high capture rate1, and a low range image rejection rate.
Pediatricians, school nurses and Lions Club members should also consider device capabilities and how vision risk factors are captured. For example, some instrument-based vision screeners do not provide instant results and may rely on an overread service by an ophthalmologist to detect risk factors for astigmatism, strabismus and anisocoria.
"The half Helen Foundation has used the Spot Vision Screener exclusively to conduct over 45,000 school-based vision screenings. Motivated by my own vision loss as a child, I am committed to advancing children's vision health through innovative screenings and access to follow-up care and corrective wear for children in low-income communities. Spot Vision Screener is an efficient and effective solution that is helping transform school-based vision screenings across America."
Chelsea Elliott, Executive Director
Why the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener is the Best Investment for You
- The Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener supports AAP screening guidelines and detects the most amblyopic risk factors which include myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, anisometropia, strabismus and anisocoria.11
- Get results in seconds. Automatically capture an image from a non-invasive, three-foot distance using the fixation target and sounds that help keep a child’s focus.
- A bright touchscreen displays instant results, indicating whether measurements are in range or a complete eye exam is recommended.
- Results are easy to interpret and share with parents and eye care specialists. The portable pediatric vision screener is perfect for pediatric offices, schools and community vision screenings.
- Instrument-based screening using the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener may be a helpful alternative in screening developmentally delayed children of all ages, whereas some devices are only FDA-approved to screen until age six.
Introduction of the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener at The Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Boston Children’s Hospital helped them increase vision screening completion rates in three-year-old children to 87%, compared to only 39% using chart-based screening.19
- Improvement was observed for each age (3, 4 and 5-year-olds) but was most impressive among 3-year-old children (38.6% to 87.1%).
- 11 out of the 12 practices in the project experienced a statistically significant improvement in completed vision screening.
- Family satisfaction was higher with instrument screening.
- There was a reduction in new referrals to ophthalmologists and optometrists (~15%).
"Thanks to Welch Allyn® and their Spot® Vision Screener, we can honestly say they saved our daughter's life and her vision. We don't want to think about where we would be if it wasn't for their incredible technology. Early screenings are essential, and Landon is living proof of this!"
Did you know you can lease the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener and defer payments up to 6 months with interest as low as 0%?
Purchase options for an instrument-based vision screener will vary by manufacturer and may include leasing options. Pediatricians, School Nurses and Lions Club members should consider the economic impact of instrument-based vision screening prior to selecting a device. Those familiar with the concepts of sensitivity and specificity, and how various devices perform in respect to referral criteria, will find it easy to select the most appropriate instrument-based vision screener for their practice.2
The Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener is a vision screener with high sensitivity and high specificity and has a more successful measurement compared to similar devices.18
Selecting referral criteria with high sensitivity will result in few cases of missed disease but may cause children with normal vision to be incorrectly referred.2 Alternately, choosing referral criteria with high specificity will minimize over-referrals, but some children with disease may be missed.2 The manufacturer’s referral criteria is typically balanced for good sensitivity and specificity.
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Together, with the dedication of primary care physicians, school nurses and volunteers like you, we can win the fight to prevent vision loss in children. Are you ready to get started? Because we’re ready to help.
- Children’s Eye Foundation. https://www.childrenseyefoundation.org. Accessed January 2, 2019.
- Children’s Eye Foundation. A Practical Guide for Primary Care Physicians: Instrument-Based Vision Screening.
- Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. Give Your Child the Best Vision Possible. https://preventblindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/PB_Best-visionpossible_parent-checklist.pdf. Accessed December 22, 2020.
- Prevent Blindness Wisconsin. Our Vision for Children’s Vision: A National Call to Action for the Advancement of Children’s Vision and Eye Health.
- https://preventblindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Snapshot-Report-2020condensedF.pdf Accessed August 24, 2020.
*GoCheck Kids. https://www.gocheckkids.com/ Accessed September 1, 2021.
**Plusoptix. https://plusoptix.com/en/ Accessed September 1, 2021.
*** Rebion. Blinq. https://www.rebion.net/blinq-old . Accessed September 1, 2021.
**** M Millicent W Peterseim, Ryan S Rhodes, Rupa N Patel, M Edward Wilson, Luke E Edmondson, Sarah A Logan, Edward W Cheeseman, Emily Shortridge, Rupal H
Trivedi. Effectiveness of the GoCheck Kids Vision Screener in Detecting Amblyopia Risk Factors.2018. Accessed June 30, 2021.
***** Sopeyin Anuoluwapo, Young K. Benjamin, Howard A. Martha. 2020 Evaluation of Portable Vision Screening Instruments. Accessed September 1, 2021. http://macgill.com/media/pdfs/2020%20Evaluation%20of%20Portable%20Vision%20Screening%20Instruments%20RRR%20highlights.pdf
****** Yanoff, Myron. Advances in Ophthalmology and Optometry, E-Book. 2018. Accessed June 30, 2021.