Referral Info

What does it mean if my child receives a referral?

A comprehensive eye exam can identify vision impairment and underlying eye health concerns that require further treatment and diagnosis than what our Mobile Vision Clinic offers. When a child is identified as needing expanded medical care, referrals are made by our optometrists to Medicaid-friendly providers like UMSL Eye Care, SLU Sight Clinic, and WashU Clinic. Information about the health concern is communicated to parents, with the goal of not only educating them on the importance of eye health but also the results of the exam. To ensure this essential specialty care is received, Eye Thrive staff follows up with the parent and provider.

Common Referrals:


Lazy eye (amblyopia) is reduced vision in one eye caused by abnormal visual development early in life. The weaker — or lazy — eye often wanders inward or outward.

Amblyopia generally develops from birth up to age 7 years. It is the leading cause of decreased vision among children. Rarely, lazy eye affects both eyes.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term problems with your child’s vision. The eye with poorer vision can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or patching therapy.


Crossed eyes, or strabismus, is a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It usually occurs in people who have poor eye muscle control or are very farsighted.

Six muscles attach to each eye to control how it moves. The muscles receive signals from the brain that direct their movements. Normally, the eyes work together so they both point at the same place. When problems develop with eye movement control, an eye may turn in, out, up or down. The eye turning may occur all the time or may appear only when the person is tired, ill, or has done a lot of reading or close work. In some cases, the same eye may turn each time. In other cases, the eyes may alternate turning.

Strabismus is classified by the direction the eye turns:

  • Esotropia: inward turning.
  • Exotropia: outward turning.
  • Hypertropia: upward turning.
  • Hypotropia: downward turning.