Research published this month in the medical journal, JAMA Ophthalmology, concludes that vision impairment in 3-5 year old children is expected to increase 26% by the year 2060, affecting more than 220,000 preschool children.
This is a startling finding considering that 94% of current cases of visual impairment reviewed in this study are due to preventable causes. Moreover, a simple, quick vision screening using a photoscreening camera now makes it possible to detect children at risk so treatment intervention can begin when vision loss is usually preventable or correctable.
What can you do? A SIMPLE SCREENING SAVES SIGHT.
Amblyopia (lazy-eye) is the #1 cause of permanent, preventable vision loss in children in the United States. Vision screening is the best way to detect silent disease as early as possible. According to pediatric ophthalmologists (physicians who specialize in pediatric eye care), instrument-based vision screening is helpful in screening for amblyopia before children can read the eye chart, as early as one year of age. Routine eye chart testing can begin as soon as the child is able, often around 4 years of age. Vision screening tests can be done in the pediatrician or family doctor’s office. Vision screening is as much a priority as checking height and weight, or discussing nutrition, oral health, safety, and vaccinations.
“Often no one knows the child can’t see well, especially if it is just one eye. It is tragic to have children come in when the problem is detected too late and there is little we can do. If potential problems are caught early, starting at age 1, treatment is much more effective and vision will be better for the child’s lifetime.”
– Dr. Millicent Peterseim, a pediatric ophthalmologist in Charleston, South Carolina
To learn more about vision screening in children and the dangers of amblyopia, download this resource from the Children’s Eye Foundation, the foundation of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS). AAPOS is the trustworthy authority in children’s eye care. Don’t lose sight. Tell your family and friends to get your child’s vision screened during regular well-child check-ups at the pediatrician’s office.
Watch Greta’s story and learn how eye care saved her sight. And tune in to our blog each week for more information on this topic and to learn more about the Children’s Eye Foundation!