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Sandra S Block, Adrianna Hempelmann, Melissa Nguyen, Ngoc Phan, Jane Fang; Does Mandatory Vision Examination Upon School Entry Identify Sufficient Vision Problems?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1524.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The purpose of this study was to review the eye examination data for preschoolers, kindergarteners and those entering first grade to identify the prevalence of vision and eye health problems in children seen at the IEI at Princeton School Vision Clinic. The clinic serves Chicago Public School (CPS) children who attend schools which are geographically located in a low income area of Chicago. A recent study in the UK revealed that children from the least deprived sociioeconomic area were 1.4 times more likely to pass a vision screening then the poorest. We wanted to investigate whether we saw the same trend.
The CPS school system refers patients to the IEI at Princeton for comprehensive eye exams. Data from the 2014 and 2015 academic years were reviewed. Data from children who would be enterng school within ten months of their exam or who were in kindergarten or beginning first grade at the time of their exam were included in the analysis. A review of age, race, gender, previous spectacle wear,entering visual acuity, cycloplefic refractive error, cover testing at far and near, and eye health were collected.
1,228 children fit the criteria: 631 (51.2%) females, 601 (48.8%) males. Race distribution: 806 (65.4%) black, 338 (27.4%) hispanic with less than 2% white, middle eastern, mixed, other or unknownm. 146 had previously worn glasses however only 91 presented to the clinicwith glasses. Entering VA (OD) was ≤20/40 in 24.4% subjects at far and 24% at near. Strabismus was found in 6.3% (77) of children. Using cycloplegicrefraction: 13.3% had spherical refractive errors >3.00 or < -1.00 and 13.3% had astigmatism in excess of 1.00 diopter. Eye health problems were rare with less than 3% showing any posterior eye health abnormality and less than 1% showing any anterior segment problem.
The prevalence of vision problems in a low income population in the City of Chicago suggests more vision problems than is expected in the general population of children entering school for the first time. The population seen at the IEI at Princeton is an underserved population that often is identified as a lack of follow through when failing a vision screening. The addition of a mandatory eye examination requirement encourages these children to be seen for a comprehensive exam thus allowing for early identification and treatment of potential amblyopgenic problems.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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