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The Florida Society of Ophthalmology

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Amblyopia Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 2, 2015

For more information:
Stacey Kruger, MD
Phone (O) 305-274-4123
Please Note:
a local FSO-member ophthalmologist
can be available for comment;

call FSO Media Relations, Steve Kaufman:
(C) 904-710-0324


Florida Senate Sees Pediatric Vision Screening a Priority

(TALLAHASSEE)—Fewer than 20 percent of preschoolers are currently screened for vision problems despite serious, but treatable eye disorders found in young children.

On Wednesday, April 1, at the urging of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO) and other health organizations, the Florida Senate designated August 2015 as "Amblyopia Awareness Month" to educate Florida parents on the importance of vision screening at an early age.

"Amblyopia—commonly referred to as lazy eye—is an eye disorder that can cause permanent vision loss if not identified and treated early,"” Miami pediatric ophthalmologist Stacey Kruger, MD says. "If the disorder is detected in early childhood, especially before the age of five, the chances of successful treatment are significantly increased."

According to Kruger, doctors can identify several forms of amblyopia only through proper screening procedures, which many health insurance plans cover. Currently, fewer than 20% of preschool children are being screened for vision problems, she says.

The resolution was sponsored by Sen. Denise Grimsley (R-Sebring) and passed the Senate unanimously.

FSO President Rick Bendel, MD says his organization hopes the Senate's action will encourage parents to "ensure their kids receive proper screening prior to starting preschool. It should become a natural 'checklist' item for any child about to start school. Designating August Amblyopia Awareness Month will remind parents to put vision screening on their back-to-school list."

About the Florida Society of Ophthalmology
The Florida Society of Ophthalmology is the state's leading advocate for providing Floridians the highest standard of eye care. The FSO's mission is to promote and protect the medical specialty of ophthalmology through active participation in legislative advocacy and providing continuing medical education and responsible information to its members, physicians and the citizens of Florida. Please visit www.mdeye.org for more information.

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