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Early detection to help protect and preserve the gift of sight for a lifetime

The Wisconsin Lions Foundation, in partnership with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin coordinates Lion Club member training for certification and recertification for vision screenings. Local Lions Clubs sponsor and conduct vision screenings in their own communities.

The goal of the WLF Children’s Vision Screening project is to see that all Wisconsin children-from six months to teens—have had a vision screening and, if appropriate, are referred for a vision professional exam. Thousands of Wisconsin youngsters receive vision checks from Lions Clubs each year.

The need for this uniquely Lion community service is clear. Fewer than 20% of children are adequately screened for vision problems in the United States today. Eighty percent of a child’s learning is related to sight.

Vision problems affect one in twenty preschoolers and one in four school-age children. Children sometimes can’t tell or don’t know when the are seeing correctly. Without early detection and treatment, children’s vision problems can lead to complications, including permanent loss of vision, learning difficulties and delayed development. Some vision problems must be identified before the age of five to help insure against permanent vision loss.

Common vision problems can include the following: Amblyopia (lazy eye): Reduced vision in one eye. Anisometropia: Both eyes are nearsighted or farsighted but in different degrees. Stigmatism: Distorted vision. Hyperopia (Farsightedness): Objects blurred at close range. Myopia (Nearsightedness): Objects blurred at a distance. Refractive Error: A defect in the optics of the eye results in lack of precise focus of light rays on the retina causing blurred vision. Strabismus (crossed eye): Eyes that are not straight, eye muscles are not working together.

Different types of vision screening that may be used locally include special charts for children at least three years old to measure distance visual acuity; a test that uses polarized glasses and a chart to determine if the eyes are working together; or where available use of a special camera used especially for children under three years old.

 
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