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In the 2011-2012 school year, Prevent Blindness Oklahoma provided free vision screening to over 300,000 children throughout Oklahoma. Of these children, 46,000 were found to have possible visual problems and were then referred to eye care professionals for complete exams and medical follow-ups. These screenings took place in all 77 counties of Oklahoma at over 1,200 schools.
Prevent Blindness Oklahoma was established in 1965 and is the only non-profit agency in Oklahoma dedicated exclusively to preventing blindness and preserving sight.
PBO is hoping to get a SPOT machine for the Oklahoma Panhandle. The SPOT Photoscreening makes screening easy and effective for everyone. It is very similar to a camera that is engineered for todayâ€™s vision screening market, has a portable screener and operating system combined, and has WiFi connectivity for data transfer and printing. It has screener result data display so that the results are known immediately and then a referral to eye care professionals can be made if necessary.
In order for this to happen for the area of the Oklahoma Panhandle, PBO is in need of donations to make this possible to help with the cost of the pricey machine. It will benefit the screenings and area greatly in the vision screening process.
One in four school age children has an undiagnosed vision problem, and one in twenty preschool children has an undiagnosed vision problem. Eye disorders, if left undiscovered and untreated, can negatively affect a childâ€™s personality, learning ability, and overall development. 85% of children never receive a vision exam. 80% of what is learned is visually acquired. Permanent damage, or even blindness, can result if poor vision or any type of eye disease such as strabismus (cross eye) or Amblyopia (lazy eye) goes undetected in the early years of a childâ€™s life. Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the US. The SPOT machine helps get a jump start on the possible vision problems in a quick and effective way to help prevent further damage that can become costly and challenging for the well being of the children who posses these issues.
One of the SPOT Photoscreening machines will be available at the Childrenâ€™s Health Fair this Thursday, July 19.
The Health Fair is sponsored by Texas County Coalition and is going to be held at the Texas County Activity Center from 3-6 p.m. This is a free event and will also provide entertainment. Texas County Health Department will offer immunizations just in time before school starts. The Oklahoma Dental Foundation mobil dental unit will also be participating.
For an opportunity to see the SPOT machine and the service it provides for the area and for Prevent Blindness Oklahoma before making a donation, this is the time and place to do so. Donations are greatly appreciated and needed for this area. Contact Director of Programs, Anita Schlaht, M.Ed, Prevent Blindness Oklahoma at 405-848-7123 Ext. 103 or visit the PBO website at http://preventblindnessok.org/ for more information.