Miracle Monday: Importance of vison screening for kids

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With school picking back up, for some students, you may be marking off those last-minute back-to-school things you must do.

Is getting your child’s eyes examined on that list?

We talked with doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia about why getting an eye exam ahead of the school year is not a bad idea.

August is National Eye Exam and Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

Dr. Steven Brooks, chair of ophthalmology, says your child should have a vision screening at least once a year, particularly with young kids like preschoolers.

“What people don’t realize is that children often don’t know when they have an eye problem especially if they have had it for a long time. It’s just that they get used to seeing that way. They can be undiagnosed for a long time which is detrimental,” he said.

Brooks says with the lack of ophthalmologists, it’s important to know the severity of your child’s vision.

“It’s nice if that resource can be sort of reserved for the kids who truly need it, so I think it’s a lot of people participate in pediatric eye care, and then we as specialists participate in the more complicated things,” said Brooks.

The neonatology and ophthalmology departments at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia work closely together.

Dr. Brian Stansfield, department of pediatrics neonatology, says the partnership has not only helped them screen infants that are at high risk of eye disease but also provide effective treatment.

Both departments were recently awarded a specialized camera to see inside the eye.

“Without a digital image, you’re basing any progression of disease or resolution of eye disease on documented notes, or provider to provider communication,” said Stansfield.

The hospital is a not-for-profit, so every dollar donated helps.

Brooks said: “There’s a lot of things that I don’t think we could necessarily afford but take us to the next level of services we could provide if it wasn’t for donations.”

Stansfield says the benefits of receiving care at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia is that there is a lot of expertise centered around kids.

“I think it’s critical for the community to recognize that having a world-class children’s hospital in their own city provides them the safety net in care that they may or may not need for their children,” he said.

If you want to help make miracles happen, visit Miracle Monday.

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