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Lions Club Offers Vision Screenings

The eight Lions Clubs serving Loudoun County and Northwestern Fairfax County, with funds raised in their various communities in addition to grants from United Way, Lions of Virginia Foundation and Cardinal Bank, have obtained two PediaVision “Spot” Screening devices for the purpose of screening the vision of children starting at six months of age. The PediaVision “Spot” is a breakthrough vision-screening device that will help identify children with vision issues. Using this innovative new technology “Spot” can assess a child's vision with a very quick capture time of less than one second, which makes eye care screening efficient in a large-scale public environment such as a day care center. The Wi-Fi-enabled handheld “Spot” device makes vision screening as easy as taking a photo. The child does not need to be verbal or communicate with those conducting the screening in order to be screened. Results are immediate, and the information is printed out for the school to distribute to the child’s parent or guardian.

With the new “Spot” technology, the Lions Clubs of Loudoun County and Northwestern Fairfax County hope that schools and pre-schools throughout the area will invite the Lions Clubs to provide free vision screening for their students. The group wants to make their services known to staff and management of day care centers, both public and private, as well as the kindergartens in the area, and hopes to be invited to conduct screening at their centers.

It has been determined that at such age levels the testing has the greatest positive impact by identifying vision disorders that would normally go undetected until the child starts school. Screening these younger children, who have no point of reference for what normal vision is, allows parents to know if their children are at risk for amblyopia (Lazy Eye) as well as those that need vision correction or other treatments which have a greater recovery rate and treatment possibilities when detected at an early age.

Amblyopia is a form of blindness in one eye that affects one in 50 children. Even though the “Spot” device screens for seven different vision problems, Amblyopia is one of the biggest concerns. Pediatricians and Eye Health Professionals have indicated that they only have until the age of 8 to correct Amblyopia before the child could suffer permanent vision loss. This means it must be identified early otherwise there is little chance of reversing it. School screenings don't usually start until kindergarten or first grade when children are 6 or 7 years old. If amblyopia is identified at that age, doctors only have another year and a half to attempt to correct the disorder, however it has been determined that it is usually too late at that time to make a significant difference in the child’s vision.

The sooner vision issues are detected in children, the sooner corrective action can be taken, with the greatest chance of success, so that your child’s development is not adversely affected. To learn more about the PediaVision “Spot” screening in your community or to schedule a screening at your child’s daycare, pre-school, or school, please contact the your local Lions Club at 703-723-0077 or by e-mail in care of the Lion Davida Luehrs, the PediaVision Scheduler at SterlingLions@Verizon.net.

The eight Lions Clubs serving this area are: Reston, Sterling, Leesburg Host, Middleburg, Purcellville, Lovettsville, Arcola and South Riding.