Susan Harris, M.D., a Wayne State University assistant clinical professor and Wayne Pediatrics general pediatrician, promotes the importance of getting children’s eyes checked early.
To reinforce that message, Dr. Harris was joined by Wayne State University medical students Riya Shah and Nimra Hassan on June 29 at Detroit-based Squiggles and Giggles Day Care LLC. She and the team provided free children’s eye checks supported by the Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener.
Thanks to a grant from The Children’s Foundation, the state-of-the-art vision screener was purchased and will be used by Wayne Pediatrics as part of ongoing efforts to support the community in providing quality pediatric care and improving health outcomes for children and youth.
“There is a window of opportunity while parts of the brain are still developing, that early treatment can, in some cases, even prevent blindness,” Dr. Harris said. “Less-severe conditions that may lead to an abnormal screen, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, with treatment can lead to better eye health, better vision and improved academic performance.”
The Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener is painless and simple to use. Screenings take about 30 seconds per child.
As the child sits approximately 3 feet from the instrument, flashing colored lights are emitted as several complex eye measurements are captured and analyzed to determine if the patient has a normal eye screen. In the event the child does not pass the screening, Dr. Harris recommends a referral to a pediatric ophthalmologist for a more comprehensive exam. The vision screener is also perfect for young children, even those not yet at reading level, because no reading or letters are involved. The machine is not appropriate for children diagnosed with seizures or epilepsy.
Dr. Harris said the goal of the one-time outreach effort is to promote the benefits of early eye screening and to bring the device to children who may not read or have difficulty reading an eye chart perhaps due to a disability.
The Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener returned to Wayne Pediatrics to benefit patients and families during routine clinic visits.