Children with vision problems often go undiagnosed until they start school, and delayed diagnosis can lead to lasting vision problems and developmental delays. Nearly 15% of children between the ages of 3 and 5 have a vision problem that requires glasses.

Annual vision screenings for preschoolers can help find vision problems while their eyes are still developing, and some vision disorders can be reversed if treated before age 5. In Oregon, the legislature requires that all children entering public school for the first time show proof of a vision screening.

Thanks to a grant from the Oregon State Elks Association and Elks volunteers, the Oregon Elks Children’s Eye Clinic at OHSU Casey Eye Institute provides free vision screenings for preschoolers all over the state. We partner with Head Start programs and public libraries to prevent vision loss in children by screening over 8,000 kids annually, referring over 700 kids every year to an eye doctor to be checked for a potential vision problem.

Using photo screening technology–a scientifically proven screening method for preschool children–the children’s eyes can be measured instantly and results are available immediately. If needed, the screener can recommend that a child be referred to a specialist.