Best practice: How to perform vision screenings amid COVID-19

Plusoptix device measures refraction through sneeze guard

It seems like many people avoid going to the doctor for well check visits amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But don’t forget that instrument-based vision screening is very important! 1 of 5 children has visual disorders which may lead to amblyopia, often referred to as “lazy eye,” if not treated early enough. Thus, we would like to answer the following question: How to perform vision screenings amid COVID-19?

Well, how to perform vision screenings amid COVID-19? A contact-free and safe way of vision screening amid COVID-19 is more important than ever before. Plusoptix devices can detect the most prevalent visual disorders within less than 1 second from 3.3ft (1m) distance – even through sneeze guards. The earlier visual disorders are being detected, the easier the development of amblyopia (lazy eye) can be avoided.

How the Covid-19 pandemic affects vision screening

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La Plata Lions PVS Team screened 1228 children during the 2018-2019 club year

Today’s blog post is a newspaper article about the La Plata Lions PVS team.  The article was part of the last district 22-C newsletter. 

The La Plata Lions PVS team had another successful year again during the 2018-2019 club year. A grand total of 1, 228 preschool children were screened with a total number of 229 referrals to pediatric eye-care for evaluation and necessary treatment so these children can have clear vision during their education.

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Connecting those in need with important services – by Hank Lunsford

Through coordinated community efforts, our program conducts vision screenings for hundreds of kids every year.


The annual Day 4 Hope, which partner’s schools with sponsoring churches, started more than a decade ago. In Sarasota, 38 nonprofit organizations contribute to these back-to-school events to benefit children in need. At the fairs, each child is given a backpack filled with school supplies, including gift certificates for school uniforms and shoes. Additionally, the children receive books and even free haircuts and hair styling. The events are meant for the entire family, where they can get sheriff identification and family portraits taken. Continue reading “Connecting those in need with important services – by Hank Lunsford”

Photoscreening played a life-saving role for my daughter Brianna – by Dorie Leitten

Plusoptix Blog_Brianna Leitten

In April of 2013, when my daughter Brianna was 6, she had a vision screening at school conducted by volunteers from Bloomfield Lions Club in our home town in Ontario County, New York. She received a referral for a full eye examination. I was not concerned as back in February, Brianna’s eye exam at the pediatrician’s office was normal. Plus, my oldest daughter wears glasses. I made an appointment with our family optometrist for 2 weeks later. There, we found out that we had an emergency.


It was Saturday, and our doctor was unable to reach a specialist willing to see Bri immediately. Therefore, she advised we go to an emergency room. When I said I knew a surgeon at a local hospital, she replied, “If you have any cards, you need to play them right now.”

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Squinting is a risk sign in children

When babies are born they still have to learn how to see. In the beginning, it is often difficult for them to properly coordinate the movement of both eyes and to fix objects. That’s why babies squint sometimes. If strabismus occurs temporarily in the first few months, this is no cause for concern. It is properly the so-called baby squint. But parents should pay attention on how the squint develops – does it occur less or does the child still squint?

different forms of strabismus

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MEDARVA Vision & Hearing Screening Program – STOP MISLABELING CHILDREN

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Untreated vision problems can lead to kids being called “hyper,” “distracted,” or a “slow learner.”

The goal of MEDARVA Healthcare’s Vision & Hearing Screening program is simply to help as many children as possible. Encompassed in this goal is our driving mission to ensure no one is incorrectly labeled without a full medical investigation. MEDARVA partners with community organizations in the greater Richmond metropolitan area to bring medical assistance to those in need. In advance of the school year, we have launched a social media campaign and are hitting the streets to advance our anti-labeling mission. Continue reading “MEDARVA Vision & Hearing Screening Program – STOP MISLABELING CHILDREN”

Back to school to-do list: About eye health and the role of Plusoptix Vision Screener

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By Jean-Christophe (JC) Firer, Plusoptix CEO


Learning depends on good vision.

As children get ready to head back to school, we reflect on the importance of vision for learning. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper released a proclamation recognizing the prevalence of undiagnosed and untreated vision disorders. He states that as many as one in four school-age children has vision problems. Vision problems are the most common disorders among children. Coloradoans are reminded to recognize the importance of education in children’s lives. “Parents are encouraged to have their children evaluated for vision problems to maximize their potential in the classroom,” Gov. Hickenlooper said.

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Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month: About objective, device-based vision Screening – by Evan Silverstein, MD

Objective, instrument-based Vision Screening with the Plusoptix Vision Screener

Usually, most children do not need a complete eye examination; however, all children should have serial screenings. Objective, device-based vision screening or photoscreening is an excellent way to accomplish screening in young children. With the right referral criteria in place, screenings in preschoolers can help to identify risk factors for amblyopia. Therefore, children’s screening should be performed yearly.

Recently the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus added the option of photoscreening for children ages 12 months to 36 months to its recommendations. If a child fails the screening, it is then referred to an eye care provider for a complete eye examination with dilation.1 Not all children who have a refractive error will need to wear glasses; the treatment will depend on their individual situation and factors such as age and the level of risk for developing amblyopia.

Therefore, it is crucial that there is a follow through when a child  is referred with a “Refer” screening result for a complete exam. Communication is key throughout this process, starting with the person who performs the vision screening.

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Updated Vision Screening Statement Spurs Change in Practice – by Denise Brown, MD

Vision Screening with Plusoptix - Plusoptix Blog - By Denise Brown, MD
In January 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its vision screening policy for pediatricians. The policy statement recommends that instrument-based screening in the office setting be first attempted between 12 months and 3 years of age and at annual well-child visits thereafter until acuity can be tested directly.
Read how the updated vision screening statement spurs change in a pediatrician’s practice in our today’s blogpost by Denise Brown, MD.

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Early Childhood Photoscreening Supports Better Eye Care in Rural Alaska – By Arwen Botz


Photoscreening is an efficient and effective method of identifying kids at risk for amblyopia.

The Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) serves a 12,000-member community located on a large, mostly uninhabited island in Alaska. I am a Developmental Specialist with the KANA Infant Learning Program. This is a part of the Alaska Early Intervention system that works with young children, who are experiencing developmental delays, or are at risk of developing such delays, and their families.

KANA collaborates with Alaska Blind Child Discovery (ABCD), a cooperative, charitable research project to conduct vision screening on every preschooler in Alaska. ABCD is the brain child of pediatric ophthalmologist Robert Arnold, MD. During his pediatric fellowship at Indiana University, Dr. Arnold became intrigued with detecting small-angle strabismus using the Brückner Test. After starting practice in Anchorage with Ophthalmic Associates in 1989, he began publishing clinical research around modifying the test. As his interest in photoscreening advanced, Dr. Arnold began working with public health nurses, and later various charities to launch screening clinics in urban and remote villages.

Plusoptix Blog - Early Childhood Photoscreening Supports Better Eye Care in Rural Alaska - Bob Arnold
Pediatric ophthalmologist Robert Arnold, MD

Originally, after photoscreening was conducted at the KANA-run vision clinics, Dr. Arnold had to review all the printouts to determine which kids needed a follow-up exam. For 15 years, this was a tedious and time-consuming process, with often poor picture quality complicating the situation. Then 3 years ago, KANA acquired grant funding to purchase a Plusoptix vision screener. Continue reading “Early Childhood Photoscreening Supports Better Eye Care in Rural Alaska – By Arwen Botz”