The Natchitoches Lions Club performed free eye screenings for children at Bright Beginnings May 2. One out of every 20 children in Louisiana has an eye problem other than a need for glasses. The Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation, along with Lions Club volunteers, operates the CubSight Program to provide free vision screening to help identify children with visual problems.
Vision screenings can be provided at pre-schools, day care centers, head starts, Sunday schools or any place that children regularly gather.
Bright Beginnings Director Jessicus Berry said four of the children from the screening in 2016 are now in glasses.
“This is a service for my families,” she said. “Most people may not think about getting their children screened this young, but it benefits the kids if you can catch these vision problems early.”
Lions Club volunteers are trained by the CubSight Program to operate special handheld screening instruments that can detect eye problems that can cause lazy eye, refractive errors and congenital cataracts in children ages 1-5 who are too young to communicate these issues. These vision disorders are more easily treated in young children and the screening is completely noninvasive.
The results of the screening are evaluated by the LSU Health Science Center, Dept. of Ophthalmology. Results are sent out within 3 weeks of the screening. If a problem is detected, it’s recommended that child be seen by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Most exams should be covered by individual health insurance, LaChip or Medicaid. Plans vary and you may need to contact your child’s primary care doctor. Assistance may be available through the LLEF and the LSU Dept. of Ophthalmology.
For more information call Lions Club member Kelli Sampson at 318-471-7766.