LAKE MARY, Fla., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Nancy Jeppesen has been conducting vision screenings on children for the past 17 years and believes the new Spot vision screener will make a tremendous impact on vision screening and help children across the country. Jeppesen explained how Spot has changed the approach to vision screening of young children.
"Up until now, it's been very difficult to screen a five year old," said Jeppesen, who in 1994 founded the non-profit agency, Florida VisionQuest, which provides complete vision services for children throughout Florida. "With Spot, we can easily screen a five year old. We can screen a two year old! It's truly revolutionary."
Understanding how important it is to screen children as young as possible, Florida VisionQuest worked to determine how to screen a pre-K child. Using manual eye charts, it took several months to accomplish, but the team screened 866 children. "Had Spot been available, we could have done it all in a day and a half," said Jeppesen. "Spot has changed some of the focus of our agency, because now we can aggressively go out and accurately screen children of all ages very quickly and easily."
For the past 149 years, children throughout the United States have become accustomed to the standard vision screening routine which involves standing in front of the eye chart while the doctor or nurse point to a line and ask the child to tell which letters they can see. Jeppesen is helping to change the standard of vision screening with Spot, conducting vision screenings at five schools each week and screening an average of 2,000 to 5,000 students each month. For students referred from a Spot vision screening, VisionQuest provides a complete eye exam by an eye care professional who will prescribe and provide eyeglasses to those in need.
"With the manual eye charts, the kids have a tendency to get nervous," said Jeppesen. "Because of that nervousness, we sometimes have teachers who try to coach these young children before the screening so they know what to expect. Using Spot, the teachers find out quickly that they don't have to do that anymore, because the children are done as fast as they sit down."
Up until now, pre-verbal children or those who speak a different language could not be screened. With the introduction of Spot, those challenges have ended. Teachers, parents and children are all surprised by this new device and method for vision screening.
"The kids are so amazed by this, because they sit in a chair and they think they are going to be sitting for a while and all of a sudden we say you're done," Jeppesen explains, noting the surprise she always sees on the faces of the children she is screening. The teachers are surprised as well. "Typically by the time we are nearly done with the screening, the word has filtered throughout the school and we usually have a line out the door of teachers who want to be screened just to see how Spot works.
"Spot has revolutionized how we will view vision screening and how we are going to identify vision problems for children of all ages."
Vision Disability, Number One Health Issue in Schools
In a recent study by the Department of Health and Behavioral studies at Columbia University, early detection and treatment of vision disability needs to be priority number one.(1)
The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that vision disability is the single most prevalent disabling condition among children. Approximately 80 percent(2) of what children learn in their early school years is visual. Alarmingly, fewer than 15 percent of all preschool children receive an eye exam and fewer than 22 percent receive any type of vision screening.
Today, of all school-age children across America, 25 percent suffer from a vision problem,(2) that is 12.5 million children who may be unable to see the blackboard or read their textbooks. Research shows that of the children in the 9-15 year old age group only 10 percent of those who needed glasses actually had them.(3)
The breakthrough vision screener Spot was recently introduced into the market and can assess the vision of anyone from 6 months through adult with unmatched speed and accuracy, delivering immediate comprehensive objective results.
Spot has an incredibly quick capture time of one second or less which makes screening equally efficient in a physician's office or large-scale public screening. The WiFi enabled handheld device makes vision screening as easy as using a camera. Spot's touchscreen interface clearly displays the results accurately and instantly.
With Spot, a typical school can be screened in one day, dramatically lowering the cost of screening students and increasing the opportunity to make a difference for those children who end up receiving glasses. Access to the screening data is immediate and Spot facilitates large-scale data analysis. Spot enables administrators and educators to instantly print reports, monitor follow-up care and show supporters the statistics behind childhood vision issues.
PediaVision, the inventor of the Spot vision screener, is dedicated to solving the critical problem of undiagnosed vision problems and transforming the lives of thousands of children each day. Automated and objective vision screening empowers organizations in public health and private medicine to positively affect the outcomes of a child's education performance.
Supported by ophthalmologists, optometrists, scientists and leading technology innovators, the Spot vision screener is breakthrough technology and represents what vision screening should be. For more information, including how to order Spot, please visit www.pediavision.com.
(1) Basch, C.E. (2010) Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap.
(2) American Optometric Association
(3) A Call to Action, Joel N. Zaba, MA, O.D. for Essilorvision Foundation, September 2008