Friday, May 15, 2015

More Eye Exams for Children in School

"Last year, I went with a small group of ophthalmologists to a South Bronx middle school to conduct vision exams. One neatly dressed boy had trouble seeing the big E at the top of the chart. He hesitated and made mistakes on the second line, and then put his head down, embarrassed. "I don’t think you can see the chart,' I said. He told me he couldn’t remember ever having an eye exam. I thought he might be an anomaly," says Pamelin F. Gallin, professor of ophthalmology and of pediatrics at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She argues for more eye exams of school children in the New York Times. "I was wrong. My colleagues and I have conducted 2,400 screenings on students in three New York City middle schools: one in the South Bronx, one in Williamsburg and one in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. We have prescribed and distributed 450 free pairs of glasses to the nearly one-fifth of the kids who had 20/40 vision (which means street signs and chalkboards are blurry) or worse. Many of the kids knew they couldn’t see the board, but hadn’t thought to ask for a checkup, because their vision had deteriorated gradually." Read more.

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