About Eye Examinations

An eye examination should be performed by an eye doctor. An eye doctor is either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. 

An eye doctor must be licensed in his/her state according to regulations by each optometric or medical state board.


Eye exams 101

An eye doctor will perform tests as part of an eye examination. An eye examination will give a diagnosis (e.g., normal, myopia) and prescribe treatment when indicated (e.g., glasses, vision therapy).

During a comprehensive eye and vision examination, an eye doctor should evaluate:

  • Eye health
  • Visual acuity at both near and far
  • Visual efficiency

Measurements for eyeglass prescriptions is also done. This is called a refractive evaluation. Refractive errors include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Screening not a substitute for examinations

Vision screening does not evaluate eye health and important vision skills needed for success in school, sports, driving, and the modern workplace.

Vision screening is not a substitute for an eye examination by an eye doctor.


A must for every eye appointment

The Vision First preschool report form (for 3 and 4-year-olds) and the student report form (for grades K-12) were created solely for eye examinations by an eye doctor.

  • The Vision First report form exceeds state standards.
  • Increase understanding of a child's visual abilities and eye care needs.
  • Ensure a child's success in school.

The demands for reading and writing are occurring at an earlier age for children.  Parents and teachers depend on the eye doctor's eye examination to identify, treat, and prevent vision problems that could interfere with a child's ability to succeed in school and in life.

All children can benefit from a comprehensive eye and vision examination.


Vision report forms have value

The Reference Page explains the Preschool and Student Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examination Report.   The Vision First report form and Reference Page were created for the parent and teacher.

When submitted to the child's school, the Vision First report will assist a child's teacher in providing an excellent educational program for the child.


IFT initiates legislation

In 2005, the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) adopted the resolution Required Vision Examination Before Entering Kindergarten, also supported by Illinois PTA.

This resolution led the IFT to initiate legislation, Senate Bill 641, requiring an eye examination for all children entering kindergarten as a necessary prerequisite to academic learning.


Governor vetos Senate Bill 641

Read the letter written by Vision First President Janet Hughes urging the 95th Illinois General Assembly to override the Governor's amendatory veto of SB 641.  Read more...


Vision First congratulates those involved with SB 641

"Vision First Foundation congratulates the Illinois Federation of Teachers under the leadership of Sharon Teefy, legislative director, Jane Russell, president of West Suburban Teachers Union Local 571, and chief sponsors Senator Deanna Demuzio and Representative Jil Tracy for initiating and ensuring the unanimous passage of Senate Bill 641.

In cooperation with the Illinois Optometric Association under the leadership of Michael Horstman, executive director, this huge accomplishment will greatly benefit all children entering kindergarten in Illinois. Your outstanding efforts in raising the standards of eye care for our children's visual welfare are commended!"

Janet Hughes, founder and president

Vision First Foundation

October 10, 2007

"Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness."
—George Santayana