Each year, members of the Orange Lions Club work with Orange school nurses to conduct eye screenings to young students. This year, over the course of nine days, volunteers screened 748 students with 70 of them referred to follow-up with appointments with eye doctors.
Betty Hadlock, Orange Board of Education member and Lions Club chair for the eye-screening program, said the screening was a great success this year. She explained, “The state-of-the-art camera that we use is able to diagnose a number of different vision issues that go across all age groups,” at a recent Board of Education meeting. Issues include risk factors for lazy eye, eye misalignment, nearsightedness, farsightedness, blurred vision, unequal refractive power and unequal pupil size. “Any of these issues could really impact a student’s learning,” Hadlock says.
The screenings were once only offered to pre-school and kindergarten students, but this year, the high-tech screening was offered to students through fifth grade as well. The SCOPE PediaVisionScreener identifies vision issues in children ages two through six, by simply taking a picture of a child’s eye in low light from a four-foot distance. The VisionScreener measures visual acuity, lazy eye, astigmatism, detached retina, corneal deformity and other potentially serious eye issues which, if treated by an eye doctor can be corrected or cured early to keep vision problems from interfering with education.
In early November, the group completed eye screenings for nearly 200 children at Mary L. Tracy School. Students at the town’s preschools will be screened this winter.
“We’re very pleased to provide this service and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year.”
The Orange Lions Club relies on support from the community, so that it can continue its programs around blindness, eye research and vision screening. The Orange Lions annual Wine Tasting will take place on Friday, March 22 at St. Barbara’s Church Hall from 6:30 — 9:30pm. Tickets can be obtained by calling 203 795 0134 or contacting any member of the club.
Betty Hadlock, Deb Hart and Patricia Romano, president of the Orange Lions helped Orange school nurses do vision screening for 748 students late last year.
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent