The Lions Early Childhood Vision Screening Project is a
vision screening program to identify treatable or preventable causes of
blindness in preschool and young children in the
Sudley and West Gate areas of
, Linton Hall, Haymarket,
and Catharpin.. The program
also provides for professional eye exams and treatment of vision defects.
This project is made possible through a grant from Novant Health.
Lions use the PediaVision
screening device (similar in appearance to a digital camera) to identify
children whose eyes may have some type of defect.
The volunteer takes a digital measurement of the child's eyes from a
comfortable distance of 3-4 feet. Invisible,
infrared light is projected through the pupils onto the retina.
Depending of the refractive error or "prescription' of the eye, the
vision screening can detect near sightedness, far sightedness, astigmatism, eye
misalignment and amblyopia (dull vision).
are taken of the child's eyes while the child looks at the PediaVision
"camera" used for the screening. It
is as easy as having the child's picture taken (see picture).
Children 6 months through age 6 may be screened.
The child must be able to fixate (look at a specific object).
For this screening, the child must be able to focus on a flashing light
on the camera.
Vision screening is conducted at schools, childcare centers and
health fairs/clinics. Before the
screening is done, the child's parents must give their written approval, and the
facility must approve the screening being conducted at their site.
All parents will receive notification of the results of
their child's screening. Those
children that "fail" or are "referred" are advised that the
screening indicates that their child may have a vision disorder and the parent is
strongly advised to make an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
The eye, muscles that control the eye, optic nerve, and the area of
the brain that gives us vision are completely developed, no matter how perfectly
or imperfectly, by the age of six. Vision
deficiencies that may have occurred during development will be very difficult or
impossible to treat after the age of 6 when development has completed.
Many of these problems when caught early enough can be completely
corrected, and the earlier they are diagnosed, the better the chance of
correction and the easier and less expensive the treatment.
The cost of the screening is paid in full by the Lions using funds raised by
Lions in the community.
WHAT LIONS DO NOT DO
Lions do not recommend any particular eye doctor.
Lions do not make diagnosis and do not examine a child's eyes beyond
The first few years of a
child’s life are critical in the development of normal vision. Between
70-80% of what a child learns is visually acquired; and 70% of school-age
children with learning disabilities have some form of visual impairment. Vision abnormalities in a child’s eyes may occur even when the eye
appears to look normal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in
2005 reported that two in three children under age 5 are never given a thorough
vision screening; yet 1 in 4 school-age children has a vision abnormality.
One in every 100 children has amblyopia, lazy-eye
syndrome. According to the
of Ophthalmology, visual impairment of amblyopia will become permanent and
will result in lifelong visual loss if it is untreated or insufficiently treated
in early childhood.
More than 60% of the children in the
have not been examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist by the age of 6.
Most people think that when they take their children to the pediatrician that
any of the problems that the child may have will be discovered and treated.
Most pediatricians have only had a small amount of training related to
the eyes, so vision problems are more likely detected and treated by an
optometrist or ophthalmologist.
A child with vision problems often does
not realize that the way they see the world is not the way everyone else sees
it. Most children under age 5 are
not capable of communicating effectively to solve the problem.
95% of early vision
problems can be corrected when detected and treated in early childhood.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
If parents, schools or childcare centers are interested in
scheduling a screening, they can contact Park West Lions Club, at 703-392-0077
or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Screenings scheduled at schools and childcare centers generally are not open to