Amblyopia screening program in Lancaster focuses on elementary schools

A pilot program has been set up in Lancaster, PA, to catch cases of amblyopia early in city school children.

Lancaster, PA-Once a child reaches age 9 to 11, there is more of a risk of permanent vision loss when treating amblyopia, according to David Silbert, MD. This is why Dr. Silbert set up a pilot program to catch cases of amblyopia early in city school children.

The program is under way at Washington Elementary School, Lancaster, PA, where 100 kindergarten and first-grade students are being screened on-site by Dr. Silbert's team. If they show signs of amblyopia, Dr. Silbert and his colleagues will provide treatment, either at the school or at Lancaster's Family Eye Group.

"By linking the screening and the treatment in one program and getting the school involved, we feel we can do a better job treating amblyopia," Dr. Silbert said. "Children can't go to school without the proper vaccinations. Why should a child go to school with lazy eye and not be treated for it?"

Dr. Silbert wishes he could screen children as early as 3 years old, but will settle for getting them in kindergarten. He suggests parents have all children screened but to bring them in as soon as they see one eye drifting or crossing.