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Lori Berman: Screening kids now prevents vision problems later

There are many signs of issues that can lie hidden from plain sight of parents.

Have you heard of Amblyopia? Chances are, you have and don’t even know it.

Amblyopia, more commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is the most common cause of permanent vision loss in children if not identified and treated early in life. Surprisingly, Amblyopia is preventable if caught early enough. And yet, only about 20% of preschool children are currently screening for vision problems.

So why are so many children in Florida not screened for this preventable vision problem?

Young children don’t know they can’t see well, especially if they are experiencing issues in just one eye. Because of this, there are many signs of issues that can lie hidden from plain sight of parents. Many parents and guardians don’t always know where to find the right resources when it comes to identifying issues.

This is why I have sponsored Senate Resolution 1252, which works with the Florida Society of Ophthalmology to recognize August 2020 as Amblyopia Awareness Month in Florida. We want to provide Florida parents and guardians with the right resources and education to identify any vision issues in their young children.

Florida’s youngest children are tomorrow’s leaders, and we want to ensure they have the best chances to succeed. Providing resources and education to parents about early vision screenings is one way we can help pave the path to a brighter future.

For parents looking for free resources, the For-Eye Foundation will be hosting a free vision screening for children during the 2020 Children’s Week Tuesday, Jan. 28, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Florida Capitol. Parents and guardians can meet the ophthalmologist providing the screenings at the 2nd-floor rotunda on that day.

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State. Sen. Lori Berman represents parts of central Palm Beach County in Senate District 31.

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