Like most health ailments the best period to test, prevent/treat and cure eye ailments is during its early stages, hence regular eye examination during childhood becomes an imperative part of lifelong eye health. It is also a fact that children in their playfulness fail to share vision discomforts they may be experiencing and would open up only when specific questions are asked. Bearing these points in mind the National Programme for control of Blindness conducts eye examination camps for children at least twice a year. Sankara Nethralaya’s Elite School of Optometry (ESO) also specializes in conducting eye screening camps for children.
A comprehensive vision testing for children studying in 29 schools located in Chennai Corporation Zone – 1 comprising of Ennore, Thiruvotriyur and Manali was carried out on February 4th 2015.The students underwent examination for refractive errors and also their binocular vision status and the general health of their eyes. The vision testing involved a three-phased structured protocol consisting of basic vision screening, detection of refractive errors and referral for other ocular problems.
The highlights of this event was the screening of 4604 children belonging mainly to the economically backward sections of society spread over 29 different schools for eye and vision problems in a single day. In 2012 the Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya created a national record for eye screening of School children by testing 8469 children in a day. 19 Teams comprising 150 members performed vision testing in the school premises between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm.
In the recently concluded camp 171 children totaling to (3.71%) were identified with refractive errors. These children were given an option of choosing their own frames, which were trendy and stylish. This is to improve the compliance of spectacle wear, as cosmetic appearance is one of the major reasons for children not wearing their spectacles. Lenses for these spectacles would be made of plastic material, considering the safety of children’s eyes. Previous survey done by Elite School of Optometry showed that only 18% of children use the prescribed spectacles because of various reasons like teasing by friends, cosmetic factors and difficulty during sports. 117 (2.54%) children identified with ocular problems like squint, ptosis and cataract were referred to Sankara Nethralaya for free treatment. Parents of children with vision problems will be informed of their children’s vision status and counseled. Spectacles will be distributed in 10 days time in the school premises itself and parents will also be invited to collect the spectacles.
Lack of information to parents about their child’s condition in the conventional school screening is one of the main reasons for poor compliance to spectacles and other treatment options.The Elite School’s of optometry’s aim is to eliminate all these barriers and create a unique model in the school children vision testing henceforth said Ms. N. Anuradha, Vision Screening Coordinator, Elite School of Optometry.
Creating awareness among all the stakeholders especially parents and teachers and involving them as part of the screening would create an impact on the school vision screening models” added Dr. R Krishna Kumar, Principal, Elite School of Optometry.
For more details contact Dr. R. Krishna Kumar- 044 2234 6023