Students undergo preliminary eye screening to catch amblyopia

Kindergarten students at École Our Lady of the Rosary School lined up for a preliminary eye screening conducted by the Sylvan Lake Lions

École Our Lady of the Rosary School Kindergarten student Ryker Schwab shows off glasses used in the Lions Club’s eye screening exam.

École Our Lady of the Rosary School Kindergarten student Ryker Schwab shows off glasses used in the Lions Club’s eye screening exam.

Kindergarten students at École Our Lady of the Rosary School lined up for a preliminary eye screening conducted by the Sylvan Lake Lions Club last Thursday.

It was all part of an effort to detect Amblyopia, or lazy eye, which can be corrected if detected an early age, according to Fred Johannson of the Lions Club.

“We found one student who had a lazy eye and her parents just thought she was slow in school,” he said. “It turned out that she just needed glasses. The girl said she liked her glasses because she could watch TV.”

The preliminary screening is a simple test that takes only a few minutes to do, and Johannson knows how to relate to the children by turning the process into a fun game.

Giving a child a pair of colourful glasses to wear, he holds two cards out and asks the child to point to the card with the letter ‘E’. He repeats this several times, switching the cards and holding them nearer and farther away from the child.

By doing this, Johannson is able to tell if he needs to make a phone call to the child’s parents to suggest that they take the child for an eye exam.

“Parents usually thank us for letting them know their child needs to see an optometrist,” he said.

Our Lady of the Rosary principal Jodi Smith fully supports the preliminary screening and says the children have fun with it.

“The Sylvan Lake Lions Club always does a great job,” she said. “They have fun with the children and they make it an enjoyable experience.”