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CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-3945
e-mail: thomas-moore@uiowa.edu

Release: Oct. 18, 2002

UI Hospitals and Clinics Lions Club to screen children for vision problems Oct. 26

Volunteers from the Lions Club based at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will conduct free vision screenings for children from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Wal-Mart store in Iowa City.

The event coincides with the national "Make a Difference Day." Families are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item as a donation to the local food bank.

The screening process helps detect a condition called amblyopia, more commonly referred to as "lazy eye." Children with amblyopia do not develop normal sight during early childhood. As many as 7,800 children in Iowa under age 4 have poor vision in at least one eye, making amblyopia the most common eye disorder among preschool-aged children.

The vision test is non-invasive. Trained Iowa Lions Club volunteers use a special camera to take photographs of the children's eyes. Conditions that lead to amblyopia are not always apparent by simply looking at a child. When undetected or left untreated, amblyopia can result in permanent vision loss. Early detection through vision screening is a crucial step in protecting a child's eyesight.

The screenings will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. After a parent or guardian completes and signs a consent form, UI Hospitals and Clinics Lions Clubs volunteers conduct the vision screenings. Specialists in the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UI Hospitals and Clinics then interpret the results. Parents will receive a report in about two to four weeks. If a possible vision problem is detected, parents will also receive a letter of referral for their child and a list of ophthalmologists and optometrists in their area.

Lions Club members across Iowa conduct vision screenings for young children through the Coming to Your Senses program, which is made possible through financial support from the Iowa Lions Foundation, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the Wellmark Foundation of Iowa and the Children's Miracle Network.

For more information, call (319) 353-7616, or visit online at www.uihealthcare.com/eyecare.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.