Five seconds is all it took to change Lexi’s life and save her sight.
Lexi is a vibrant and energetic preschooler who loves reading, doing puzzles and playing outside. In 2019, Lexi, then two years old, received a free KidSight vision screening at her daycare. She was screened with a camera that can detect up to six risk factors that may lead to blindness in children or impaired vision development. In a non-intrusive span of five to eight seconds, the screening indicated that Lexi was farsighted in her left eye and at risk for refractive amblyopia.
Refractive amblyopia is considered to be the most common type of amblyopia. It develops when there is a large or unequal amount of refractive error between a child’s eyes. This causes the brain to only learn how to see well from the “good” eye and it does not learn to see well out of the weaker eye. Refractive amblyopia often goes undetected because the child does not complain of blurry vision and the amblyopic eye does not look any different from the “good” eye. It takes a screening, like the one provided by KidSight, to alert the family that there is an issue.
After receiving the screening results, Lexi’s parents were in disbelief. She had never complained about her vision and they had never noticed any red flags. They took the KidSight packet to their pediatrician and were referred to a local ophthalmologist. The results from Lexi’s full eye exam showed even more of a disparity than the initial screening. Since her vision disorder was caught early, her doctor decided to prescribe glasses to help her brain learn to use and strengthen vision in her left eye.
The impact of a KidSight screening.
KidSight has provided vision screenings for Missouri children for over 25 years. Last year alone, KidSight staff and volunteers screened 67,025 childrenin 108 counties – identifying almost 4,500 children with potential issues that needed further examination. Many of these children, like Lexi, would go without needed vision care until they are much older simply because they do not know there is an issue. Lexi’s mother said, “We would have never expected an issue with Lexi’s vision. Her dominant eye is doing all the work, so she expresses no difficulties with seeing. By the time she would have been tested for the first time, her vision would be far worse.”
Five seconds is all it took to change Lexi’s life and YOU can help us change the lives of many more children. Make a donation today to support KidSight screenings in your community.