TROY — The Troy Lions Club’s pre-school vision screening program received a helping hand when the students at Edison State Community College Early Childhood Development Class were trained as vision screeners.
Robert Medley of the Troy Lions Club and Ohio’s state chairman of the program trained the class in the proper procedures. This screening is non-invasive and consists of measuring and comparing both of the child’s eyes with an auto-refractor. This computer controlled machine bounces infrared light off of the retina, and takes a series of measurements to determine the eye’s refractive power. Significant differences between the eyes may indicate a potential problem. After their training was completed the class obtained practical experience as they screened the vision of 19 children ages 3-5 that attend the Edison pre-school.
“It is a little different practicing on each other and then going to work with wiggling 3 year olds,” Medley said. “But they did an excellent job. The machines give a reading that shows the reliability of the test and we ended up with all tests performed in the needed range,” he added.
Three children were referred to an eye care professional for a follow up based on the screenings.
The Lions Preschool Vision Screening Program offers free vision screening for all children in Miami County, ages 2-5. This screening tests for Amblyopia (lazy eye) and Strabismus (misaligned eyes). More than one in 50 children have one of these two conditions and if left untreated by age six, it can cause lifelong vision loss in the problem eye. In both of these conditions, the brain stops recognizing signals from the weaker eye. At about age 6, the damage becomes permanent and irreversible. If detected prior to age six, treatment is usually easy and quite effective. It consists of eye-patching the stronger eye and forcing the weaker eye to perform all of the child’s vision. The brain accepts the input and once both eyes become equal, the patch is removed and vision remains normal.
The Troy Lions Club is a non-profit community service organization serving Troy, Covington, Pleasant Hill, Piqua, Tipp City, and surrounding areas of Miami County since 1942. Their primary mission is vision health. The Troy Lions Club also provides scholarships and supports many community programs. For more information, see the Lions website at e-clubhouse.org/sites/Troy_OH or call (937) 335-7345.