249078 Vision examination results from an inner city Milwaukee high school

Monday, October 31, 2011

Norma K. Bowyer, OD, MS, MPH, FAAO , Public Health Advisor/Consultant, Morgantown, WV
Kellye Knueppel, OD, FCOVD , The Vision Therapy Center, Inc., Private Practice, Brookfield, WI
Maureen Kennedy Powers, PhD, FAAO, FARVO , Gemstone Foundation Research Institute, Rodeo, CA
Vision disorders are one of the most common disabilities for children in the U.S. Research indicates that vision problems affect more than one in four children; over 12M children. Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report states that only one out of three preschool children received any type of vision assessment. Studies from the past two decades reveal that there exists a public health emergency with respect to children's vision. Millions of children are not receiving essential eye care services, which can help to prevent eye disease, developmental delays, school/social achievement problems. To assess the vision needs of inner city children in a Milwaukee High School, vision examinations were performed on 93 ninth grader (average age 15 ys). Fifty-nine (59%) percent were male. Measures taken included 1) acuities, 2) cover test, 3) retinoscopy 4) saccade/pursuit, 5) convergence 6) visuomotor (VMI), 7) Developmental Eye Movement (DEM), and 8) Quality of Life (QOL). Findings demonstrate that vision problems are significantly greater than anticipated. Correlations between Quality of Life (QOL) and a majority of vision findings were found. No significant correlation was found between QOL and acuity or QOL and refractive error, re-inforcing the adage that "Vision is more than 20/20". Given that many children cannot articulate their eye and vision disorders and that most childhood vision problems can be prevented through early detection and treatment, it is essential that a comprehensive child vision care system be a part of the public health system at the local, state and federal.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify components of a functional visual examination. Discuss correlations between Quality of Life and functional vision measurements and potential impact on daily activities and learning environment.

Keywords: Vision Care, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a board certified developmental optometrist. I have a residency certificate in vision therapy from the SUNY College of Optometry. I am an adjunct clinical faculty for the Illinois College of Optometry.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.