Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Why the need for Vision screening in Schools ?

Vision problem affects 13.5 million children and almost quarter of adolescents overall 12-17% children are reported to have eye vision problems. Poor vision in children affects performance in school or at work and has definite negative influence on the future of the child. Myopic children have trouble reading the black board notes or digital character of the class room presentation material displayed on screening.

School screening for vision in children is very essential and need to be made mandatory. Perhaps teachers and parents can help children who may be struggling with few vision conditions like squinting narrowing of eyes, headache, turning of eyes inwards, outward blurred vision, holding books too close all these need vision screening.

School Screening program by Trinity Care Foundation
Children with blindness suffer long years of disability which severely impacts their overall development and restrains them from any meaningful participation in social and economic activities. Uncorrected Refractive Error (URE) is one of the major reasons for visual impairment among children, especially in the age group of 5-15 years, with Myopia leading the list of refractive errors.

Children usually don't complain of defective vision especially if only one eye is involved. They may not even be aware of their problem. They adjust to the poor eyesight by sitting near the blackboard, holding the book closer to their eyes, squeezing the eyes and even avoiding work requiring visual concentration. This evades early detection. Timely detection of these problems and their correction by spectacles can tremendously improve the child's potential during his formative years. Visual impairment is an avoidable burden in the life of a child, his family and the society. Periodic screening of all children helps in early identification of visual defects and correction of REs, by prescription/use of corrective spectacles.
 In India it is estimated that 2-3 % of school children in rural areas have refractive error. In the urban areas the proportion is even higher. One study shows that 5.1% of children in schools had visual acuity of <6/12 in the better eye.

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