Nine to eighteen million Americans currently suffer from diseases that are easily diagnosable and does not require hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of testing equipment. It also has fairly extensive evidence based, research supported treatment modalities available that have been shown to be effective. These vision problems are called amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (eye turns) and the treatment options often combine the application of spectacles and optometric vision therapy.
It used to be thought that amblyopia could not be treated after the age of 5 (as the research improved, the scientists changed the age to 6 then to 7), but now we know treatment for lazy eye can be started and patients can show improvement at any age….even when they are adults.
There is significant evidence that shows that even adults who have a long standing strabismus…and have been told over and over that “nothing could be done”, have shown such incredible improvements after therapy, that they can now enjoy 3D movies like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. (For more info on this Google Susan Barry, PhD or StereoSue and go to her Psychology Today blog and homepage)
Why is this a public health disgrace?
It is unfortunate that despite these conditions being easy to diagnose and treat, few doctors do so. Where’s the hue and cry from the various public health bodies around the country? Where’s the outraged public? Where are the bloggers going viral? Where is the support for comprehensive eye examinations for children, so these conditions can be found and treated early? Where?
As the country grapples with comprehensive health care reform…maybe this should be one of the issues addressed and the deficiencies corrected.
But you do not have to wait for the government to act. Take your child to your College of Optometrist in Vision Development optometrist’s office today for a complete eye examination. Ask him (or her) what can be done about these conditions. Take action now.
Go to http://www.covd.org for more information.