There are two types of eye checks that you can have. This would be an eye exam or a vision screening. Often times, when people go through a vision screening, they automatically assume that this means they do not have to worry about an eye exam for that year. However, this is not the case because eye exams are very different from vision screenings. Here are the major differences between the two:

Eye Exams are Done by an Optometrist: 

The biggest difference is that eye exams are done by an optometrist who specializes in eye care and health whereas a vision screening is done by a doctor, school nurse, or a health care volunteer. This means that all the little problems with your eyes aren't thoroughly being checked for. Instead, a vision screening is just checking for general vision problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. This is a huge difference compared to what is checked for in a thorough eye exam by an optometrist at a place like All About Eyes

Vision Screenings Indicate the Need for an Eye Exam:

Vision screenings cannot substitute for an eye exam because the person performing the vision screening can not diagnose you with a specific eye problem. Instead, if there are problems with the vision screening and you do not pass it, this means that you then need an eye exam to determine the full source of the problem. This way, you are properly diagnosed and treated. Besides, even with a vision screening, you cannot receive a prescription for glasses until you have seen your eye doctor. 

Vision Screenings Cannot Find Eye Diseases:

The purpose of a vision screening is usually to determine whether or not your eyes are in a state that allows you to perform day-to-day tasks without problems. For example, a school nurse wants to be sure that the students can pay attention in class without their vision being a problem. Another example of a vision screening is the test that is done when you receive your driver's license. All they care about is that you can see clearly enough to drive safely. These vision screenings are not going to determine whether or not you have an underlying problem, such as an eye disease. Many times eye diseases do not even have symptoms until much later down the road when it is too late to treat them. This is why an eye exam is so important. 

When you know the difference between an eye exam and a vision screening, you can be sure that you do not replace an eye exam with the screening that you have recently received.