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P. I. Vassileva, Y. Kirilova, D. Paskaleva, T. Hergeldzhieva; Screening Program for Eye Examination in Children (3-14 Years of Age). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):1447.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Early diagnosis of eye diseases and disorders is of utmost importance during childhood. In Bulgaria there is no functioning system for prophylactic examinations and vision screening of children. A screening program for all children in district "Poduene" of Sofia city was planned in order to assure access to specialized eye care in the area, and started from March 2007.
In a neighborhood of Sofia with population of 75 000 all institutionalized children aged between 3 and 14 at 13 kindergartens and 11 primary schools were enumerated for planning of vision screening program (altogether 6850). The volunteer team consists of young ophthalmologists, residents and nurses from the University Eye Hospital "Pashev" located in the district of Poduene. All screening examinations are performed free of charge.The screening is planned for a period of 3 years (2007-2009). Exams are carried out with portable equipment: SCOLATEST for children between 3 and 6 years of age with correction glasses for fast evaluation of hyperopia (+2.0 sph and +4.0 sph), Stereo Random Dot E Test for stereovision and Wagonner Test "Testing Colour Vision Made Easy" for colour vision; VISIOTEST for examination of kids in the age between 7 and 14 - for monocular and binocular vision, evaluation of astigmatism, stereovision, duochrome test, fusion and colour vision.
615 children were screened for the period March-June 2007: 321 preschool and 294 students. Different types of sight disorders were registered in 25% of children. The most common causes for low vision are refraction anomalies. Disorders in stereovision were diagnosed in 11.06%, and in 4.07% - colour vision anomalies. Only 3% of screened children had serious eye problems - anisometropia, amblyopia, strabismus, inflammation and congenital defects. All those children were referred to outpatient pediatric eye department for optical correction, additional evaluation and treatment. The screening is in progress.
Our initial results demonstrate significant delay in diagnosing of threatening eye conditions endangering with visual handicap in this neighborhood with random Roma population. Especially important was the high risk of permanent amblyopia as for 90% of children this screening was their first eye exam.
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