On Tuesday, the Senate passed a resolution declaring August as “Amblyopia Awareness Month.”
Amblyopia, more commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” is the most common cause of permanent vision loss in children. It is caused by a number of eye disorders but it is preventable if caught and treated early, so the Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the For Eye Care Foundation have made raising awareness a priority.
On Wednesday, the associations praised the Senate and SR 1252 sponsor Sen. Lori Berman for their help in spreading the word about the importance of vision screenings for 3- to 5-year-olds.
“Hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. are too often left with permanent vision loss due to issues that go undetected,” said Dr. Darby D. Miller, the president of FSO and a board member at FECF. “We know that the sooner children are identified to have vision threatening disorders such as amblyopia, the sooner we can treat them and the better their chances of successful treatment.”
The resolution also promotes statewide preschool vision screenings. Currently, FSO and FECF say fewer than one in five preschoolers are screened for vision problems.
The groups will be partnering with organizations across the state to promote amblyopia awareness and perform pediatric vision screenings.
“Early detection is key in preventing permanent visual loss. We thank Senator Lori Berman for recognizing that our children need access to screenings, and the need for parents to have both knowledge and resources to know what to look out for to help prevent this type of blindness in their children,” said Dr. David Cano, who chairs the FEFC board.