The Russellville Lions Club, with help from the Franklin Lions Club, screened 46 children last week for possible vision problems during the preschool screening for the Logan County school system.
“Everything went really well,” said Lions Club member Frank Schwab, who used a special camera that takes pictures of the youngsters’ eyes and can tell with a high degree of certainty if they need to see an eye doctor.
Of the 46 children screened at the event, the camera said that 40 had no problems with their eyes. Five of the children were flagged as needing to see an eyecare professional, though. And one child was already under the care of a physician.
“All of that data will be sent to the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation headquarters,” Schwab said. “They will review the data and send the findings back to the preschool coordinator at Logan County Schools and she will send out notices to the parents whose children are recommended to see a doctor.”
The screenings were part of the Kentucky Lions KidSight program, which detects these vision problems in children:
Myopia (Nearsightedness) - This is when the eyes focus incorrectly, making distant objects appear blurred. It can be treated with glasses, and typically is not amblyogenic as long as both eyes have similar degrees of myopia.
Hyperopia (Farsightedness) - This is the difficulty seeing objects that are near. Small levels of far-sightedness are normal for young children, but high levels can cause problems. Left untreated, hyperopia can contribute to crossing of the eyes or poor vision in each eye. This condition can be corrected with glasses.
Astigmatism - This is a condition in which the cornea (the clear covering of the front of the eye) has an abnormal curve, causing out-of-focus vision. Typically, an eye with astigmatism is not perfectly round but is slightly oblong, creating astigmatism. Astigmatism is not amblyogenic unless it is asymmetric or of a large degree.
Strabismus - Strabismus is when the eyes are not directed to an object simultaneously. Sometimes the eyes deviate inward, and other times the eyes deviate outward. Vertical Deviations can also occur, but are quite rare.
Anisometropia - This is the condition in which the two eyes have unequal refractive power–they are in different states of myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). Anisometropia can adversely affect the development of binocular vision in infants and children if there is a large difference in clarity between the two eyes. The brain will often suppress the vision of the blurrier eye in a condition called Amblyopia, or lazy eye.
A makeup date for Logan County preschool screenings is set for April 12 and the Lions plan on being there for vision screenings as well.
The Russellville Lions Club is also planning on working with the Russellville Independent School System with screenings for its preschools students in May and also will be going to area daycares to provide screenings.