Friday, February 15, 2013

Vision Screenings: Bad Outcomes

There was a recent article (Researchers urge eye screening as early as age 1) that supported the concept of vision screening for children. If you've been reading this blog and the research I've been posting regarding vision screenings, you know that vision screenings have very poor outcomes. Medicine does a major disservice to all when they continue to promote the myth of vision screenings. Shame on the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) and all who continue to even suggest that vision screenings should be conducted. The parents of children who are 6-12 months of age can schedule no cost eye and vision assessments by contacting the American Optometric Association's InfantSee program. If your child has not had a full, comprehensive eye and vision examination within the last year, please schedule an appointment with you family optometrist today. 
For those with expertise in pediatrics, binocular vision, learning related vision problems and optometric vision therapy, go to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and the Optometric Education Program Foundation websites.
 My commentary on this story posted on CNN Health is below. I posted this yesterday, but for some reason if has not shown up on the website just yet.
Just about all research regarding vision screening shows how unreliable the outcomes tend to be. Vision screening is NOT what our children need. We provide well baby examinations, why not infant eye examinations as well? For children 6 to 12 months of age the optometrists associated with the American Optometric Association's program will provide no cost assessments for all families regardless of their financial situation. if you go to and write in "vision screening" in the search box, you will see that the research does not support vision screening. ObamaCare has a provision in it that will allow every child a full eye examination as a health benefit. Please note that Cochrane Reviews note that for amblyopia screening: "The review found that there is currently not enough evidence to determine whether or not screening programmes reduce the proportion of older children and adults with amblyopia. .." Poor outcomes! They also note in a review of other studies that: " No eligible randomized studies were found. There is a clear need for reliable evidence to measure the effectiveness of vision screening...." Screenings do not work. Our children deserve full comprehensive eye and vision examinations. 
Dr. Dominick M. Maino, Professor of Pediatrics/Binocular Vision, Illinois Eye Institute/Illinois College of Optometry