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Elks clinic visits, screens Head Start kids’ vision

The Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at OHSU provided vision screenings to preschool children Nov. 10 at Hood River Head Start.

Of the more than 28 children screened; 15 passed and 13 were referred to see an eye doctor for further treatment.

The Elks Children’s Eye Clinic vision screening program targets preschool children aged 3-5 because this is the best age to detect and treat children with vision problems. Although school-based screening may be available to some of these children later, it is essential to detect a potentially blinding eye disease called amblyopia before age 7.

Amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” is the most common cause of vision problems in children. This year, the clinic began using a hand-held electronic photo screening system called the plusoptiX S12. Children are instantly referred by the device if their refractive measurements do not meet the referral criteria.

An important part of this program is the extensive follow up for children who do not pass the screening. Referred children are tracked to make sure that they get a complete eye exam from their local eye doctor.

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