Vision and Hearing Screenings

Last updated: August 1, 2022

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

Impairment Definition
Amblyopia or lazy eye Abnormal development of connection between the brain and eyes
Astigmatism Irregular shape of the cornea or lens
Hyperopia or farsightedness Nearby objects are blurry, far objects are in focus
Myopia or nearsightedness Far objects are blurry, nearby objects are in focus
Strabismus or wandering eye Eye 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

Anne Arundel Eye Center 
127 Lubrano Drive, Suite 301
Annapolis, MD 21401

Mark Preslan, M.D.
(Pediatric Ophthalmologist) 

7671 Quarterfield Road
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

7900 Ritchie Highway
Marley Station Mall
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Lions Club 
Maryland Society for Sight 
1313 W. Old Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21209

Ophthalmology Associates
of Greater Annapolis 

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

Peepers Family Eyecare 
139 Richie Highway, Suite B
Severna Park, MD 21146

Walmart Super Center – Optical Center 
407 George Claus Boulevard
Severn, MD 21144


Medical Assistance Program Enrollment and Resources:

Medical Assistance for Families (MCHP) Health Care
Enrollment Assistance
Administrative Care Coordination (ACC)
410-222-4791 410-222-7381 410-222-7541

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:
  • September 2, 2022 – St Paul’s Lutheran School
  • September 6, 2022 – St Andrews Day School
  • September 7, 2022 – Summit School, St Margaret’s Day School
  • September 8, 2022 – Beaver Creel Kindergarten, Bodkin Elem, Primrose School of Gambrills
  • September 9, 2022 – Van Bokkelen Elem
  • September 12, 2022- Belle Grove Elem, Woodside Elem
  • September 13, 2022 – Annapolis Area Christian Lower School, Marley Elem
  • September 14, 2022 – Corkran Middle
  • September 15, 2022 – Hebron Harman Elem
  • September 16, 2022 – Hebron Harman Elem, Annapolis Elem
  • September 19, 2022 – George Cromwell Elem, Overlook Elem
  • September 20, 2022 – Monarch Annapolis, North Glen Elem
  • September 22, 2022 – Eastport Elem, Freetown Elem
  • September 23, 2022 – Southgate Elem
  • September 27, 2022 – Edinboro Early School, Tyler Heights Elem
  • September 28, 2022 – Brooklyn Park Elem, Lothian Elem
  • September 29, 2022 – Mills Parole Elem
  • September 30, 2022 – St. Martin’s Lutheran School

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.

Local Low-Cost Vision Resources and Health Care Assistance

Parent’s Guide to School Health

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