The Wisconsin Lions Foundation and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin combined forces to help the fight against blindness and to ensure that every child from six months to eighteen years old sees properly. Through the efforts of local Lions and Lioness Clubs, screenings are taking place in their local day care and preschool facilities. In the past year the 51 clubs who reported their numbers to Prevent Blindness Wisconsin screened 15,601 children. Of the screened children 1,047 were referred for an examination by an eye care professional. Last year, 7 clubs reported screening 223 adults and 134 of those adults were referred for an examination by an eye care professional. Vision problems affect one in every five school-age children and one in every twenty preschool-age children. In 2012, the WLF Board of Directors and Council of Governors added Adult Vision Screening to our mission with our partners at Prevent Blindness Wisconsin.
Why screening is important?
- 85% of a child’s learning is related to sight. When vision problems begin in early childhood, a child does not know he/she has a problem because the brain compensates for the poor vision. Therefore, the child with a vision problem won’t complain, and he/she may not have symptoms that parents would notices.
- Some vision problems must be identified before the child reaches the age of five to ensure successful treatment. This is true of Amblyopia (lazy eye), which if left untreated, can lead to permanent vision loss.
- Vision problems can e detected through a simple vision screening that takes less than five minutes. If a problem is found, a professional eye examination is recommended.
Common Vision Problems:
Early treatment of children’s vision problems is important because it can provide children with added potential to learn and develop.
Amblyopia (lazy eye):
Reduced vision in one eye.
Both eyes are nearsighted or farsighted but in different degrees.
Objects blurred at close range.
Objects blurred at a distances.
A defect in the optics of the eye results in lack of precise focus of light rays on the retina, causing blurred vision.
Strabismus (crossed eye):
Eyes that are not straight, eye muscles are not working together.
Types of Vision Screening
Standard Vision Screening:
The Lea Symbol Chart is made up of common shapes, and is designed to be used easily with children who are at least three years old. This test determines the measurement of distance visual acuity.
Random Dot E (Stereopsis) Test:
Stereopsis is the visual perception of three-dimensional space resulting from the blending of the images from each eye. This test determines if the eyes are working together. It includes a three-dimensional picture of the letter E and polarized glasses.
Photoscreening detects vision problems in children. This camera is recommended for children who are three years of age and under. Photoscreening and standard screening detect the same vision problems.
How effective is Vision Screening in Children?
“Because of your screening at my child’s daycare, we are now able to correct his eye concerns early and have much better end results! Thanks!”
“It was important that vision screening was at my daughter’s preschool. I took her to an ophthalmologist for further examination and she needed glasses.”
“Children’s Vision Screening gives the Lions a sense of satisfaction that they are doing something important and they enjoy working with the children.”