Vision Screening Is Essential!

From Today’s Vision Monday……

PBA Says New Children’s Vision Screening Recommendation Aligns With Their Mission

CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has announced that it is aligning goals with a recent recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) regarding vision screening of all children between the ages of 3 and 5. The USPSTF report notes that approximately 2 percent to 4 percent of preschool-aged children have amblyopia, an alteration in the visual neural pathway in the developing brain that can lead to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. “Identification of vision impairment before school entry could help identify children who may benefit from early interventions to correct or to improve vision,” PBA said, adding that the organization released “ Our Vision for Children’s Vision: A National Call to Action for the Advancement of Children’s Vision and Eye Health” in 2010 as part of its continued commitment to children’s vision health. “A professional eye examination is, without a doubt, the gold standard of eyecare, and should always be encouraged,” said Hugh R. Parry, the organization’s president and CEO. “Vision screenings are an essential element of a strong public health approach to children’s vision care, facilitating the early identification of vision and eye problems and linkage to appropriate care. It is critically important that all children, regardless of financial resources or barriers to care, are able to obtain sight-saving services,” he added. To support the development of a public health infrastructure that promotes a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of vision and eye health care for young children, PBA said that it recently established the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), impaired vision can affect a child’s cognitive, emotional, neurological and physical development by potentially limiting the range of experiences and kinds of information to which the child is exposed. And yet only one in three children in America has received eye care services before the age of six, the CDC said.

By Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, Colorado Optometrist in Vision Therapy

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