Thursday, March 12, 2009

Screening for kids

MSNBC (3/12) reports that, according to Carmen Bunde, program director with Prevent Blindness Nebraska, "blurry vision in a child can cause brain damage if the vision is not corrected." In some cases, "amblyopia is to blame. It's often called 'lazy eye,' because weak eye muscles make the eye drift to the side, eventually disrupting vision." Amblyopia "is responsible for more vision loss in people age 45 and younger than all other eye disorders combined." The article details how "trained volunteers" with Prevent Blindness Nebraska "screen more than 3,000 low income children a year, many of them...preschool age," for eye disorders. Children "who fail the eye exams are sent to their doctors for follow-up care." Approximately "one in 20 preschoolers are referred to" eye doctors "after the screenings." Experts point out that the "best time to catch eye disorders is between the ages of three and five years old."

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