SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology

American Academy of Ophthalmology

October 19, 2009 11:30 ET

Eye M.D.s Partner to Promote Vision Screening Requirements

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - October 19, 2009) - The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) are stepping up their campaign to protect children's eye health by calling for states to adopt legislation or strengthen statutes mandating vision screenings. Since this effort began in 2000, 11 states have enacted Pre-K vision screening requirements.

"We believe that vision screenings by pediatricians, family physicians and trained screeners are the first step toward making sure every child successfully sees their way to adulthood," says Michael W. Brennan, MD, president of the Academy.

Thorough, yet cost-effective screenings identify children who have potential eye problems and need comprehensive eye exams, saving money for children who need it most. Routine screenings ensure that more children are seen over the period in which their vision develops.

A recent report by The Vision Council confirms that there has been progress in children's vision screenings. The report, "Making the Grade? Fall 2009," cites progress in 14 states where vision screening laws have been enacted or improved since in 2005. In addition to the state progress, the report applauds advances at the federal level including the "Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009," which provides follow-up care to children who have been identified as having vision disorders.

"Healthy eyes and good vision are essential to a child's development and learning," says Dr. Gail Summers, MD, president of AAPOS. "We strongly agree with the Vision Council's recommendation that vision screening requirements need to be strengthened to ensure that every child has proper vision care and treatment."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The Academy is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons -- Eye M.D.s -- with more than 27,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" -- opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org.

About the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

The mission of AAPOS is to advance high quality medical and surgical eye care worldwide for children and for adults with strabismus.

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