Lions Expand Free Eye Screening

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The Milford Lions Club celebrated 68 years this past April as the local club was charted in 1946. A proactive, volunteer organization, Milford Lions help the Milford community through several committees and service projects, including helping individuals with vision loss.

The Sight Screening Committee in Milford is dedicated to helping individuals in the community with sight related needs.  Each year the local club spends hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars specifically related to sight projects, purchasing eye exams and eyeglasses for around 80 Milford residents which totals approximately $15,000.  Milford Lions Club works closely with the Milford School District, the Division for the Visually Impaired, Social Services and the Home of the Brave. Annually, the Milford Lions Club provides $1,500 toward the purchase of large print books for the Milford Library and make annual donations to the Lions Vision Research Foundation at Johns-Hopkins Hospital, Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley, the Delaware Sight and Hearing Foundation and Kent County Christmas Party for blind and visually impaired.

In support of quickly and accurately testing the eyes of young children from 6 months to 6 years old, the Milford Lions Sight Screening Committee uses a PlusOptix S12 Vision Screener. The PlusOptix Vision Screener can detect eye problems such as far and near sightedness, lazy eye, misaligned eyes and other eye disorders that would not otherwise be detected. Diagnosing eye issues in young children is an important piece of the overall eye health initiative since early detection is not always easy to identify.

“When vision problems begin in early childhood, a child does not know they have a problem because the brain compensates for poor vision,” stated Lion Dick Andrews. “Therefore, a child with a vision problem does not complain and their parents do not notice that their child has a vision problem.”

Andrews also states that some vision problems must be identified before a child reaches the age of six to ensure successful treatment. This is true of Amblyopic, commonly known as lazy eye, which if left untreated can lead to permanent vision loss. The PlusOptix Vision Screener can detect vision problems through a simple vision screening test that takes less than five minutes or less in the hands of a trained person.

This is the third year that the Sight Screening Committee has used the PlusOptix Vision Screener in the Milford area. A free screening program has been started and will be available at local community schools, day care centers, private schools and various community services. The first screening was at held September 29 through 30 at the Morris Early Childhood Center. Over 250 children were screened and 27 students were referred to have follow-up examinations. The next screening will take place October 6 through 7, at the Avenue Methodist Preschool starting at 8:30 am.

For children to take part in the screenings, parents must complete and sign a consent form for each child to be screened. After the screening, if follow-up is required the Milford Lions Club program coordinator will assist in assuring proper care. For more information, individuals are encouraged to contact Lion Clyde Bragg at 302-284-8052.