The See to Learn program in Nebraska wants more children to undergo a free vision test.
Dr. Corey Langford says the focus is on three-year olds, so they can catch any problems early.
“With the goal being, if they developed a lazy eye, or amblyopia, that we can treat it before kindergarten starts,” Langford tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It gives you a head start, so that by the time the kid gets to kindergarten, they are visually ready to go.”
The Nebraska Optometric Association and Nebraska Foundation for Childrens Vision (NFCV) sponsor the eye tests.
“Whether it’s near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, eyes that aren’t straight – all of that – without asking any questions to the patient,” Langford says. “We just use a lot of objective measures.”
Langford says an optometrist performing the test is more comprehensive than the screening a physician may do.
“We’re doing a lot more than what would be done by the sharpest pediatrician, who wouldn’t do all the binocularity testing, you know are the eyes pointed at the same thing,” Langford explains. “All those things aren’t going to be done with a (general) screening.”
Nearly 10,000 three-year-olds across Nebraska have received free vision assessments through the program since 1997.
For more information about the program or to schedule a free vision assessment for your three-year-old, call the Eye Care Council at 1-800-960-EYES, visit the NFCV website at nechildrensvision.org or the Nebraska Optometric Association’s website at Nebraska.aoa.org.