Imagine trying to solve a math problem in school, but you can’t make out whether the number is a three or an eight on the board.
Eighty percent of learning is visual. Unfortunately, most children do not show any signs of vision problems and think the way they see is the way the rest of the world sees. Making vision screenings, early detection, and treatment crucial as they learn and grow.
2018 Preschool Vision Screening Ambassador Lizzy and her family learned first-hand just how important early detection of vision problems are.
Lizzy is an active, smart, and vocal four-year-old who loves playing dress up, riding horses, and playing with her younger sister as well as the family dog. She was so involved in her activities that her parents had no reason to suspect she was having trouble seeing the world around her. Her parents were surprised to learn that their daughter did not pass Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s vision screening at her preschool.
“Lizzy never showed signs of a vision problem and never mentioned anything,” they said. “We thought that there must have been a mistake.”
However, Lizzy’s mom promptly took her to an eye doctor for a complete eye exam. At her appointment, Lizzy was diagnosed with astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness) in both eyes as well as amblyopia (lazy eye) in her right eye.
Her diagnosis came as a shock to her parents, as both her mom and dad have 20/20 vision and Lizzy has no family history of vision problems.
Lizzy had even passed a vision screening as a three-year-old, meaning her vision problems developed rapidly in just one year—emphasizing the importance of the phrase, “screen early, screen often!”
Without early detection from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s vision screening, Lizzy’s vision problems may have gone unnoticed, untreated, and could have resulted in permanent vision loss. Lizzy’s parents are thankful for the work done by Prevent Blindness Wisconsin.
“We are incredibly grateful to Prevent Blindness Wisconsin for catching this and would 100 percent recommend a children’s vision screening to friends and family with children,” they said.
One in four school-aged children and one in 20 preschool-aged children have a vision problem that if left untreated, may result in vision loss, affect their academics, self-esteem, and confidence. Your child needs healthy vision to bring their future into focus and you can help.
The ABC’s of Vision Health
As a parent, what do you look for in your child’s vision?
A= Appearance: Have you noticed a change in how your child’s eyes look? Do they turn in, out, up, or down? Do they look red or crusty?
B=Behavior: Does your child squint to see the board or their homework? Do they rub their eyes a lot?
C=Complaints: Does your child say they have headaches or are dizzy? Does your child say they have blurry vision?
If you notice any of the ABC’s in your child, take them to the eye doctor. The only way to know the status of your child’s vision health is through a complete, dilated eye exam.
Additionally, at your child’s well-child checkups, ensure your child’s doctor is using the red reflex test. A red reflex test is a non-invasive vision test, which checks for amblyopia (lazy eye) in a child, the most common cause of preventable vision loss in children. During a red reflex test, a light is shined into your child’s eyes, looking for abnormalities. If concerns are found, your child will be referred to an eye doctor for further care.
Children face many challenges on their path to success; with your help and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s support, poor vision doesn’t have to be one of them. To learn more about protecting your child’s vision and how Prevent Blindness Wisconsin can help visit wisconsin.preventblindness.org.
Together, we can provide a lifetime of healthy vision!